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Narinder S. Bains, CRPC
Member, The Sikh Foundation
It is a special honor to join you in celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Duck Race to End Racism because ending racism is such a worthy goal and a daunting and an arduous task.
I searched the US history to learn who was the pioneer to plant the first seed to end racism? I was very curious to find out who was the earliest champion to take up the cause of ending racism? Here is what I found:
It started with a thought – a very powerful thought – a few centuries ago. Exactly 236 years ago. I will come back to this later.
Let us talk for a minute about the power of thoughts. Allow me to share with you a life changing formula – how thoughts can shape your destiny:
Watch your Thoughts, they become your Words
Watch your Words, they become your Actions
Watch your Actions, they become your Habits
Watch your Habits, they become your Character
Watch your Character, it becomes your Destiny!
This Duck Race to End Racism today is carrying on the legacy of that Powerful Thought.
That powerful thought came to the founding fathers of this great nation 236 years ago. Thomas Jefferson wrote that thought and it was fully supported by 56 brave men who signed their name to the Declaration of Independence in 1776.
They declared: “We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are the Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Though it was a very powerful thought, it took 87 years to take the first concrete action when President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
Ending Racism is indeed a very daunting and arduous task. That is why it took another one hundred years to take the second concrete step to end racism. Dr. King’s Call to Action came in 1963 during his “I have a dream” speech in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Dr. King said “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”
That was 49 years ago. InterFaith Works of Central New York carries on that legacy today in the form of powerful tools like Community Wide Dialogue to facilitate Courageous Conversations and the Duck Race to End Racism.
Ms. Beth Broadway explained so well in the recent InterFaith Works Newsletter: “When the conversation is courageous enough, it creates new understanding, new relationships, and often, life changing experiences.”
Ms. Beth Broadway, Derrick Dorsey and the entire team of InterFaith Works, the sponsors of the Duck Race and all the volunteers here today deserve our appreciation for carrying out the legacy of such a powerful thought enshrined in the Declaration of Independence of this great nation.
Let us give them a sounding round of applause.
Together we can keep marching towards our destiny with one Duck Race at a time. Let us meet here again in June 2013 to take one more step in that direction.
I would like to close with a prayer, a holy hymn from the Sacred Scriptures of the Sikh religion:
The fifth Guru Arjan says on Page 671, Raag Dhanaasari,
“Sabh ko meet ham aapan keena, hum sabhna kay saajan
Dur paraaio man kaa birhaa, taa mail keeo meray rajan.
Naa ko meraa dushman rahia naa ham kis kay bairaai
Braham pasaar pasaario bheetar, satgur tay sojhi paai.”
With Guru’s grace, I made friends with everybody and I see myself as everybody’s well-wisher. Guru’s wisdom has vanquished my sense of separation from the Creator and His creation. I am now one with my King and his kingdom.
Nobody is my enemy and I am nobody’s foe. I now understand that the Creator is pervading inside me and outside everywhere. This realization has brought me peace with everybody.
Thank you very much for participating in the 10th anniversary celebrations of The Duck Race to End Racism.
- Narinder S. Bains
June 9, 2012