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Community learns lesson of forgiveness from Sikhs at shooting vigil


As of late, the U.S. has become all too familiar with the emotions triggered by a tragedy, from sorrow to anger, and sadness to outrage, but the group who lost six members in their house of worship had a lesson to teach that startled many in the community of Oak Creek: forgiveness.

One of these surprised residents was police chief John Edwards:

“In 28 years of law enforcement, I have seen a lot of hate. I have seen a lot of revenge. I’ve seen a lot of anger. What I saw, particularly from the Sikh community this week was compassion, concern, support,” he told the vigil standing in front a row of people holding signs that spelled out: practice peace. “What I didn’t see was hate. I did not see revenge. I didn’t see any of that. And in law enforcement that’s unusual to not see that reaction to something like this. I want you all to understand how unique that is.”

Others, such as Teri Pelzek, remarked that the tragedy marked the first time they had thought to wonder about the people they met every day.

“I knew nothing about them at all. I don’t think a lot of people did. When we don’t know about somebody’s religion we assume the worst,” she said.

For residents of Oak Creek, Wisconsin, an important lesson has been learned, but can we continue to hear the lessons of the Sikh community itself over the din of our disagreements?

Full story at The Guardian.

Lessons of religion.

Photo credit: Fotolia

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