“Wisdom is to be noble, kind to all, and to serve selflessly.”
At its core, the Sikh faith is one of a quest for knowledge and understanding, the word Sikh means a disciple or a learner. It is a faith of peace and harmony which ‘teaches the message of compassion, love, dedication, and hard work.’ One of world’s youngest religions it was founded in 1469 upon the birth of its founder, Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539).Leadership of the Sikh community continued through the nine Gurus that succeeded him. The tenth Guru, Guru Gobind Singh appointed the Guru Granth Sahib as his successor and even today it continues to hold a revered status in the lives of Sikh individuals and communities. It is important to distinguish Guru Granth Sahib from that of a ‘book’ or ‘scripture’ like the Qur’an in Islam or the Bible in Christianity. Granted the status of an eternal Guru in 1708 by Guru Gobind Singh, its messages resonate across time and space. Many of the messages in Guru Granth Sahib are progressive in nature and are focused on the equality of men and women, the necessity of consultation, the ethic of democracy, and the importance of kind words and deeds. Many of these values and messages are continually reflected in the lives and actions of Sikh communities around the world.
- The first element is the acquisition of wisdom. At Khalsa School, we make a distinction between knowledge and wisdom. Our students learn and acquire knowledge from a variety of sources and through a variety of methods, yet they also acquire wisdom in learning how to apply that knowledge in ways that are relevant to them and the contexts from which they come.
- The second relates to how knowledge and wisdom are used. At Khalsa School, we wish for our students to use their education in service of a higher calling, in service not only of themselves but also their peers and for all of humanity. We hope that they emerge from Khalsa School as strong and confident individuals, grounded in their heritage and tradition as well as confident young leaders who will contribute to the betterment of humanity.
- The third element is that of nobility of character. We wish for our students to be grounded in the values and ethics of respect, compassion, service, empathy, and integrity. In drawing on the heritage and tradition of the Sikh faith, we seek to cement these values in our students’ own traditions because these values also resonate across the entire human experience.
- Positive Self-Image: We endeavor to foster in our students a positive self-image. When one has confidence in one’s self and one’s abilities it becomes easier to inspire confidence in and from others.
- Intellectual Curiosity: We endeavor to foster in our students the value of intellectual curiosity. We want to awaken in them a lifelong hunger for knowledge, and to encourage them to seek knowledge wherever it is found. Education does not begin or end at Khalsa School but rather it’s a constant quest over the course of one’s life.
- Personal and Social Responsibility: We foster in our students an ethic of personal and social responsibility. We hope students at Khalsa School will realize that they are the authors of their destinies and possess the means to achieve their goals. In learning about social responsibility, we hope that they will learn to also think of themselves as part of a larger whole, as citizens and as members of a community. Personal success does not mean neglecting one’s social responsibility to the communities and societies to which they belong.
- Service:We seek to foster in our students an ethic of service. It is an ethic that has a strong foundation in the Sikh faith. An ethic of service that we hope encourages students to selflessly contribute to those less fortunate with a view to serving humanity.
- Compassion: We strive to foster in our students the value of compassion. Cultivating compassion requires the ability to see the world through the eyes of others. In doing this, students will learn about, and be exposed to, issues and ideas from a variety of perspectives acquiring the skills of creative and critical thinking.
- Respect: We expect to foster in our students the value of respect, respect for themselves, respect for others, respect for the environment, and the societies around them. In acquiring the value of respect students will be well equipped to serve as leaders of tomorrow.
- Responsibility: We endeavor to foster in our students the value of beingresponsible. We are confident in the knowledge that if our students are respectful and responsible in all their actions and interpersonal interactions they will be the kind of citizens that will be proud of their cultural roots and Sikh traditions as well as respected Khalsa School Alumni of whom we can be proud.