Friday, February 27, 2009

Self Imolation in America? I had heard of it in Punjab, India, Vietnam but not here!

This news story this morning kind of shocked and saddened me about a man who self immolated himself in front of Wal-Mart. Why the shock? Well, I had read about Buddhists in Vietnam during 70’s Vietnam War with America , various methods used to commit suicide by farmers and other debt ridden people under social pressures in Punjab and other states of India in the last decade or so, by men and women following Dera Sacha Sauda in their frustration and complaints against pressures of Punjab Authorities/Sikh entities such as Akali Parties/Sikhs/police etc. I never understand why people commit suicide. I mean think! What is the worst that can happen to you? Live on the street, so what? Hungery, there is always my Guru Ka Langar, yes it is not free and I won’t just eat free langar and not do any work. God gave these hands and body to work, mind to think, I can always do something, do seva, serve, volunteer for a piece of meal but in no case would beg for food from a fellow human being. Why? My Guru teaches me to beg from Waheguru only and He is the ultimate Giver of everything and will take care of me. Anyways, back to this suicide in USA, well, all I can say is that things are pretty bad here in the U.S. right now economically with so many homeless, unemployed people and debt ridden families that are slowly falling in to poverty. There is lesson for many of you in Punjab and India and other countries out there about getting in debt by paying paying your family’s hard earned money, jewelry, land to these cheating travel agents who don’t care about you. They just want your money. My advice, “Stay Home”, Educate yourself, Learn practical hand-on Skills and build something even if small, even if people laugh at your skill, put you down for it or downgrade you because it is not within your social caste, class etc. All I can say is that no body can take those skills from you, Nobody should stop you from learning, reading, writing languages, cultures, sciences, math etc. Be Peaceful, Compassionate, Loving, Brave and follow your dreams. Now some of you would probably say, here is this guy sitting in America in comfort and just giving us advice to stay home and do all these things. One time a Sikh sevadar told me, if you want to learn something, Teach it. That is so true. Whatever you want to do in life, just do it and leave the rest to Waheguru.
Well, I know I get side tracked, but back to living in the USA in these hard economic times, just two or three miles from my home I have seen people living in six to eight tents under freeway bridges, near a water canal etc. I have heard things in Canada and England are also pretty bad. This Christmas season, I saw more and more homeless begging on the streets than all these other years that I have lived here. And, these are not just Native Americans, Blacks etc. but majority Caucasian. At times I get angry when I see western media and Hollywood showing movies like Slum Dog Millionaire about slums in India and makes huge profits from these movies. Makes me want to take picture of these people in tents and post on this blog. But my inner conscious says “no! Manjit, you don’t have to become one like them and act like them” , because many of these people thrive on people’s misery, otherwise there is no difference between those people and myself. I am aiming to become a Sikh of the Guru not just anybody. I should rise above that and even if unable to help in a big way. Media always paints a rosy and glamorous picture of one nation’s economy, culture, values etc. This is true in India, U.S., UK, Europe, China and others. Very few really tell you the truth about what their real lives are like. Many people thrive on watching other country’s, religion’s, cutlure’s misery to make themselves look good. But Sikhs of Guru Gobind Singh have to rise above that and not follow the same garbage that rest of the World is following about showing negativity, misery, violence, drugs, gangs, rapes, degradation of women (Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Sikh and others) I am not surprised people are calling this Slumdog movie a “poverty porn”. It makes perfect sense. I hope these people donate all of their profits to uplift these people instead of thriving on their misery.

Anyways, this story is sad, and my heart goes out to the family. He didn’t have to do this and there are other options.

Remember, Real Sikhs never commit suicides! Only Waheguru has the right to take and give lives.

Wal-Mart worker burns self to death in parking lot
February 27, 2009 8:42 AM No Comments UPDATED STORY
A 58-year-old Wal-Mart employee who said he "couldn't take it anymore" lit himself on fire outside the Bloomingdale store where he worked late Thursday night and was later pronounced dead at a hospital, authorities said this morning.
The Carol Stream man, who worked the overnight shift, was in a parking lot of an adjacent sporting goods store in the west suburban strip mall when he set himself on fire with lighter fluid around 10 p.m., said Randy Sater, a watch commander with the Bloomingdale Police Department. At least 10 people, including some teenagers, witnessed the suicide and several attempted to help the man by throwing their coats on top of him in an effort to put out the flames, he said. "He said he didn't want any help and threw the coats off," Sater said.
When one of the first officers tried to speak to the man, who by that time was severely burned, he responded, "I just couldn't take it anymore," Sater said, citing the officer's report.
A store manager, who identified himself only as Erwin, had no explanation for the suicide. he said the man had not been laid off.
Wal-Mart corporate spokesman Dan Fogleman said the man had worked for the company for a little over 7 years, most recently as an overnight stocker. He said he had spoken with a member of the store's management who described him as "a good guy and fun to be around."
He called the suicide "a tragic situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the friends and family."
Wal-Mart was cooperating with authorities in their investigation, he said, but he declined to "speculate" on whether the man had been in to work last night before the incident or had spoken with any employees. "That's not something we'd be able to share publicly," Fogleman said, saying those issues are considered personnel matters.The man was rushed to Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital in Downers Grove before being transferred to the burn unit at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood. He was pronounced dead there at 12:42 a.m., according to the Cook County medical examiner's office.
A woman who answered the phone at the family's Carol Stream home and identified herself as his cousin said the family was grieving and declined further comment


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