Yesterday I was reminded, yet again, that “Everything I need to know I can learn in Special Ed Pre-School.” (See previous blogs in this series). It’s a simple, and seemingly logical rule of life that all too often, one has to learn the hard way: “Never cut your own hair.” I was sitting with an adorable 4 year old, admiring her new hair style. I asked her if she had cut her own bangs. She started to say “no” and then confirmed pretty quickly that indeed, she had cut them herself. The others teacher asked, “and who is the only one who is supposed to cut your hair?”. “The barber,” she replied confidently. Clearly, she had been coached. Cutting your own hair rarely begins on ends well. I have a friend (who shall remain nameless) who cut her own hair into a mullet after a couple glasses of wine and and an Ambien. At the time, it seemed to her like a phenomenal idea and, until she woke up the next morning, she thought she looked like a rock star (In some ways, she probably did!)! I have personally never cut my own hair, but I do recall that when I was in junior high, I took it upon myself to cut my little sister’s hair. It was all one length and my friend and I decided she would look better if we cut it into a bi-level. I know I didnt’ ask my mom’s permission but as I recall, we didn’t have to hold my sister down or anything so I took that as a sign that she was open to the idea.
There are a few valuable lessons we can learn from these scenarios if we are willing. Regarding cutting your own bangs…this is an impulsive act. It’s one that’s taken with very little thought about the outcome, the consequences or even the reason behind it. This is something we do without considering if it’s the wise thing to do. Our society thrives on impulsivity. We are offended so we lash out without hesitating or considering the devastation of the aftermath. We send that text we shouldn’t have and hurt people. We flirt or flatter someone other than our spouse. We lash out at those we love or even complete strangers because we are on edge about something that has nothing to do with them. We can avoid so much needless pain for ourselves and other people if we will take a moment. “Pause, pray and proceed.” Or often, DON’T proceed.
And then there’s the mullet catastrophe. How often have we made decisions that seemed like a good idea at the time, only to regret making such decisions while in our previous state of mind. Sometimes people call or text or act when affected by alcohol and get themselves into big trouble. This is clearly a common problem since apparently there is a feature on cell phones that can prevent you from calling certain people you tend to “drunk dial”. Sadly, we are relying on a mobile device to filter out or bad decisions. But let’s say this isn’t you. Maybe consider the times you have made a rash decisions when you were angry or your feelings were hurt or you were feeling slighted in some way. Maybe you have written off a friend or a spouse because it felt right to you at the time. Often, instead of waiting until morning to decide if we actually have what it takes to sport a mullet, we make decisions when we are not in our right minds and end up with deep regrets. Getting your spirit right with God and reasoning things out with another wise human being before taking actions that could render long-term consequences will help you live in harmony with yourself and others.
And cutting someone else’s hair, well, that’s just idiotic. This is what happens when I think I know what’s best for someone else. I am quite sure this has been a problem for me since I began my “hair-cutting career” as a junior higher. I have spent way too much time trying to get other’s to live the way I think they should live. Trying to guide them in the way I think they should go, without considering that God might have a whole different plan for them. I am not All-Knowing. I don’t see what goes on in the depths of their spirit. I don’t know the circumstances God has aligned to lead them to a relationship with Him and to a life of freedom. It’s not my job to “cut their hair” and frankly, my skills are not stellar in that area.
While all of these stories made me smile, the ways I have related them to my every day life do not. I am not proud of the times I have made selfish, impulsive decisions without considering the ramifications of them. I am embarrassed of how many times I have made decisions to take actions while affected by alcohol, anger, hurt or fear. And I am fairly certain that just the other day, or maybe that was this morning, I was trying to manipulate someone into doing what I thought was best for them.
Oh, the things you can learn from a sweet little girl with quarter-inch bangs…