Hope and a Haircut

Calling 5,000 stylists, barbers, and others who want to save lives!

(hopeandahaircut@gmail.com)

This is a wonderful world.  This is also an amazing time in history in which to live.  The things that we have been able to witness boggles the mind.  In my 5 decades I have seen the rise of sci-fi television, the surpassing of sci-fi in real life (think cell phones).  I have seen spaceships fly and sadly, fall from the sky. Computers are now such a part of our lives that it is unimaginable that we could have survived without them.

With all the wonder that we are surrounded by, it is a sad truth that all is not wonderful in the world.  Everyone carries some, many carry more, and some carry an overwhelming burden. That burden can sometimes block out any view of the future.  It blocks the view of hope, and hope is not optional.

Hope is simply the strong desire of some future event. We all have it, or at least most of us. It animates us, invigorates us, and it empowers us.

Inspiring hope is something that comes easy to me. Being a barber makes it even easier, most days.  I didn’t really think about it until recently. When I first started out, when my haircuts were not so amazing, I was still quite good at reminding my customers of their hope before sending them out the door. When the cut wasn’t all either of us were wanting, it is what kept them coming back.

Hope is not a given.  Sometimes people lose their hope, even their ability to hope.  Without hope, it is a pretty harsh world out there. I mean face it, for whatever the reason, there are some awfully mean folk out there that make life even harder than it normally would be.  Sometimes it is because they have lost hope as well, or so I imagine.

Did you know that in America there are an average of 133 people each day who have lost their ability to hope to the point that they take their own lives?  66 of them are veterans of our military.  That is pretty heavy stuff. The real heavy part is that most of those left behind say, “we had no idea”. It’s not like people wear a sign around their neck that says, Lost All Hope.  

  I get it, it’s a big country with a lot of people and those numbers may not seem significant in the big picture, but when you look at the numbers of living people who are affected, most for the rest of their lives, the numbers become staggering.

A few weeks ago we came up with the idea of Hope and a Haircut.  Inspired by a similar program ongoing in the United Kingdom, where suicide is the number 1 killer of young men, we have been exploring ways in which we can make a difference, even save a life.

While we are still fleshing out the responsive part of Hope And A Haircut, we already know the best proactive approach is to remind people of the hope that they have, or had.  Instead of those mean, reactive people, we can major on kindness that may translate into the warmth of hope being rekindled.  We are looking to identify 5,000 beauty industry professionals who are interesting in intentionally sowing hope in the hearts of those who sit in our chairs.

In most every state, barbers and cosmetologist are required to take blood-borne pathogen training. The premise behind preventing the transfer of blood-borne pathogens is to assume that everyone is a potential carrier.  You can’t always tell by looking at someone if they are a carrier or not.

Most people who take their own lives never let on that they have lost their hope.  We want to encourage everyone we come in contact with, especially those in our industry, to assume that everyone we meet or serve is potentially a carrier of a terminal loss of hope.  

Truth is that though it seems like an easy sell, it is not.  It is easy to get people on board with something that shows a result or some sort of progress. That is the payoff.  Problem is that in most every case, we will never know if in fact we have been instrumental in the saving of a life.  That does not make it any less important, but it does make a long term commitment to inspiring hope a little harder to make happen.

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