A Sikh Perspective on Community Service
Helping others is a fundamental aspect of most religions, although each faith has a specific perspective on the importance of service or charity and how it should be offered. With input from local religious leaders, the InterFaith Leadership Council newsletter will provide an overview of service for several different religions in upcoming issues, beginning with Sikhism.
Raman Singh, who is a board member of the Gurdwara Sahib Tripta in Plymouth (a Sikh congregation) and vice chair of the InterFaith Leadership Council, explains that “We believe that God resides in each of us and the only way to serve God is to serve God’s creation. The purpose is to recognize a higher self—the God within us.”
According to Singh, Sikhs are expected to designate 10 percent of their resources or time in service to others. Service, which is known as seva, can be offered through the mind, body or resources. “The highest service is to share spirituality through the remembrance and understanding of God,” she explains.
For Sikhs, humility—“selfless service”--is required when serving others. “Don’t serve with ego. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve and blessed with the opportunity to have resources to share,” Singh says. She said that helping people meet basic needs enables them to worship God more intently. Sikhs perform service through their local Gurdwaras and national Sikh initiatives.