A user on Reddit, that junk drawer of the Internet that simultaneously contains both horrifying and amazing content -- sometimes one after the other -- has learned a very important lesson: Dude, be nice to people.
The user, identified only as european_douchebag, posted a picture of what appears to be a Sikh woman standing in a checkout line. She looks pretty typical, texting in yoga pants, flip flops and a traditional head covering. But what this user found unusual was the woman's noticeable amount of seemingly untrimmed, unhidden facial hair.
"i'm not sure what to conclude from this," the post read.
Except this time, the woman in the picture apparently caught wind of the situation, and responded with what may be the best thing you read today. Maybe this week. Possibly ever:
"Hey, guys. This is Balpreet Kaur, the girl from the picture," the posting read. "I actually didn't know about this until one of my friends told on Facebook. If the OP [original poster] wanted a picture, they could have just asked and I could have smiled :) However, I'm not embarrased [sic] or even humiliated by the attention (negative and positive) that this picture is getting because, it's who I am. Yes, I'm a baptized Sikh woman with facial hair. Yes, I realize that my gender is often confused and I look different than most women."
Balpreet goes on to explain that the body holds a certain sacredness in the Sikh religion, and her faith moves her to keep her body, for all intents and purposes, "as is." She also delivers some decidedly non-mainstream ideas about female body image:
"By transcending societal views of beauty, I believe that I can focus more on my actions. My attitude and thoughts and actions have more value in them than my body because I recognize that this body is just going to become ash in the end, so why fuss about it? When I die, no one is going to remember what I looked like, heck, my kids will forget my voice, and slowly, all physical memory will fade away. However, my impact and legacy will remain..."
Is that faith in humanity we're feeling? The whole post is definitely worth a read, but perhaps the best part of this story isn't even the Sikh tour de force that Balpreet leveled on her fellow Redditors. It was the deferential response from the original poster (our "european_douchebag"):
"I know that this post ISN'T a funny post but I felt the need to apologize to the Sikhs, Balpreet, and anyone else I offended when I posted that picture. Put simply it was stupid. Making fun of people is funny to some but incredibly degrading to the people you're making fun of," the poster wrote. "...Sikhs, I'm sorry for insulting your culture and way of life."
And the Internet's heart grew three sizes that day.