Say hello to Tej
You may find Northern California-based Super Nice Club member Tejpal Sekhon on some of the glorious hikes or walks the area has to offer with his Australian Shepard, Zeke. If you do, wave hello. Depending on what’s piping through his earbuds that day—could be anything from metal to classic hip hop to bhangra to pop— you may have to shout or mouth the words “I’m a member of the Super Nice Club, too” or you could just be wearing one of these shirts, which will take all the shouting out of it and you can just point and smile and pet the dog. If you are not wearing your “I am a Member” T-shirt, hopefully, you are not wearing a Lakers jersey (unless your name is Irwin Fletcher) because Tej does not have super nice things to say about that franchise.
If you think coffee is super nice, you may have Tej to thank for making your brew a bit better. He’s a mechanical engineer for a company that manufacturers industrial equipment in the coffee industry. “I’ve always enjoyed working with my hands,” he says, “whether I’m tinkering with gadgets, or making my own, I’ll always find myself doing this with varying degrees of focus depending on how much time I have.”
We’re pretty fortunate to have folks like you and Tejpal in the club. Let’s all get to know each other a bit better.
What does believing in a nicer world mean to you?
Tejpal: I believe that if everyone practiced being a little nicer, practiced more kindness, it would breed tolerance, and tolerance will allow for all of us to live more freely, and authentically, and I think that will lead to us as a whole to progress and excel.
In 1985, your hometown Yuba City, CA was named the worst place to live in the USA. Fair? Unfair?
Tejpal: Well, I was living in Illinois as a 1-year-old at the time, so I can’t speak to the fairness of that assessment. I will say though that I moved to Yuba City in 1992, and it’s been getting better year after year since then. I’m sure it’s a coincidence.
Does it frustrate you that nearly everyone mispronounces Sikh?
Tejpal: It doesn’t bother me that much actually. Because, even though it’s the fifth-largest religion in the world, it is often misunderstood or misrepresented. So I think there are more pressing aspects that I would like to share before correcting someone’s pronunciation.
Look for ways to be nice to people or communities that you don’t typically interact with.
What is something that not everybody thinks is super nice but actually is?
Tejpal: Losing to the Sacramento Kings. If every team in the league just spent a season losing to the Sacramento Kings, that would be super nice.
If the Sacramento Kings have to trade either Fox or Halliburton, who do they keep and why?
Tejpal: I’d keep Haliburton. I love Fox, and I love him in Sacramento, but if I had to only choose one, I’d go with Haliburton. I think Tyrese has a more well-rounded game and I think that he has the higher ceiling. Also, Fox was never given the proper tools to succeed in Sacramento, and he’s been with this losing franchise for long enough that I think he needs a new scene to wash the stink off and actually reach his potential.
[Update: in the week it took us to get this up on the site the Kings traded Haliburton] Well, looks like the Kings traded Halliburton for Domontas Sabonis today. I don’t know how to feel about this. In a vacuum, I don’t feel like it moves the needle at all. Hopefully more moves to come. But Sabonis is no slouch and I think Fox can excel with him on the court, and hopefully, there’s success… who knows… Kangz.
You get to enshrine someone in the Super Nice Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York (it’s right next to the baseball one except we don’t keep any stats and they don’t have to be sports-related). Who’s your pick?
Tejpal: My Mom, she’s the nicest person I’ve ever known. She has always been kind, caring, and considerate to others. And believe me, she’s dealt with a lot of assholes, but she’s always kept it classy, she has never let anything influence her to budge below her niceness threshold. She is a pillar of patience and kindness, and I wish to be more like her. Also, her Hugs are second to none.
Do you have a challenge for the Super Nice Club community? One small thing they can do to make the world 10% nicer?
Tejpal: Yes, get out of your comfort zone. Being nice every day to the people in your life is great. But also spread that good energy to the people who can’t do anything for you. I challenge you to actively look for ways to be nice to people or communities that you don’t typically interact with. Watch that nice currency get spread to places you wouldn’t otherwise reach. There are two concepts Sikhi promotes that I love and I think they go hand in hand. Seva, which means selfless service, and Chardhi Kala, which means to aspire to be in a mental state of eternal optimism. I find that it is easy to be happy and to be positive when you are using your energy to serve others. Happiness takes practice, and selfless service is good practice.
Just in case you don’t see him around walking Zeke, say hi to Tejpal on Instagram at @tejjin_it_up_387.