My Barber

I took a law school final exam this morning. It’s a brutal experience. The tension is palpable. Afterwards, most people do something to relax, whether it’s going for a run, going to the bar, or going to bed. I, myself, go to my barber.

I love barbers. I mean the old-fashioned kind–the real barber experience, where the only thing you talk about is politics [how the world is going to pot] and sports [why the local team lost the game last night]. My barber creates just such an experience. He is quick with the clippers. He still uses the straightedge. He uses hot shaving cream for the shave. It’s perfect after a final. If I could afford it, I would go there every week.

The thing that I love about going to the barber is the perspective. It’s a perspective that is all but lost on my generation, I think. As he’s cutting my hair, my barber teaches me to work hard, to save my money and invest it wisely, to treat people fairly, to be honest. The biggest lesson I learn from him, though, is implicit. He is always so happy. He doesn’t hold a position of high status in society, like a doctor or a C.E.O. He doesn’t drive a nice car. I have now idea what his house looks like, but I’m guessing it isn’t very big.

Now, I’m not someone who is seeking after the almighty dollar at the expense of what is truly important, but in a world of greed, it is nice to get reminders of what is really important. Work hard. Be good to people. Love your family. Be honest. Everything else just works out.

Getting my hair cut is better than therapy.

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Published in: on May 8, 2006 at 5:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

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