"First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me."
The quote by Martin Niemöller, often reminds me of the sacrifice of the 9th Sikh Guru, Guru Tegh Bahadaur Sahib. Guru Tegh Bahadaur Sahib left the comforts of their own home to take a stand against the then mogul emperor, to defend those of the Hindu faith who were being put to death for practicing their own faith.
As Sikhs Guru Tegh Bahdaur Sahib's sacrifice and those of the Sikhs, Bhai Mati Dass, Bhai Sati Das and Bhai Dayala, long serve as a reminder for us as a community to stand up for others, regardless of race, religion or political view. To view humanity as one complete entity first, and stand up for the rights of others, even at ones own expense.
It's on this day that Sikhs pay homage to this sacrifice and should use the day to reaffirm their beliefs of helping and standing up for others.
One who is beyond praise and slander, who looks upon gold and iron alike,
says Nanak, listen, mind: know that such a person is liberated. ||14||
One who is not affected by pleasure or pain, who looks upon friend and enemy alike - says Nanak, listen, mind: know that such a person is liberated. ||15||"
- Guru Tegh Bahadaur, Salok Mahala 9, Ang 1427, Sri Guru Granth Sahib