I think "M's" letter was really great and supportive. I really think it is great of you to offer your support, and it inspires me to offer mine. There are many times that I have gone through similar experiences and have felt like I am all alone because I didn't want to talk to the people around me because I didn't want them jumping to conclusions about me. I just wanted some neutral advice and
someone to listen to me and not be personally attached to whatever decision I was going to make.
Gurpreet, you the man! My love and prayers are with you. And likewise, if you (or anyone out there!) want to talk you can call me at all hours.
I would like to offer a little different perspective on this, and I hope my comments are helpful to Gurpreet or anyone else who is making decisions like that. "M", you are so right that you have to have the courage and strength to be yourself, and if people can't accept you the way that you are, then that's their problem and it shouldn't affect you. "M" realized that the person he really wanted to be happy with was a more dedicated Sikh, and many kudos to him for making that happen. For someone else, that person may be less connected to the Sikh thing but more in tune with themselves as a result (not to get all new age on you).
Each person has their own understanding of who they are and who they want to be. But to offer some different advice, I don't think that there is any one action in our lives that would mean "giving up all the beliefs that you have been raised with." I don't think it is so black and white. Those beliefs are not beliefs anymore if you don't believe in them, so what is the point of clinging on to them if they don't make sense anymore? But if they do, and you just need some help understanding them or some support in following them, then there are lots of people who can give you that support. And I disagree with "M" because in this context I think that everything we do is okay. It is okay to try things out and make mistakes, as long as you use the experiences make you better off in the long run. "M" would likely agree that even though he decided that he didn't like being away from the Sikh faith, his experiences all contributed in some way to his becoming the wonderful person that he is today.
I totally agree that your motives are important in making ciritcal decisions like that. It's not a good idea to do things simply because of what other people will think of you, or just to fit in (whether fitting in means fitting in to with the fraternity brothers or fitting in with 3HO). Personally, I think that each person is a gift to this world, and their unique talents and personality
are what make the world so rich. So it is a shameful waste for anyone not to develop and share their "true colors," that only they have. So Gurpreet and others, take life by the horns and tell everyone to screw off if they don't agree with what you believe in. The important thing is taking the time to understand what you really believe in and what is important to you in life, and learning to
trust yourself, and learning from your mistakes.
"M", you da man too, and I think it is so awesome of you to be such a good brother.