Life Lessons from a Bad Haircut
My greatest IDEX regret so far turns out to be a great life teacher.
It was on the 28th of January, the 25th day of the IDEX experience, I had just called in sick because I felt a little bit of fever and thought I needed to see a doctor, get some meds and some rest also.
I decided to visit Sai Baba stores to get a few things when I discovered this really nice local barber shop just opposite Sai baba. I had noticed it before but then it was closed and now that my hair had become a bit bushy, the store stood out to me. I was about to cross over to have my hair cut when I remembered my Nigerian friend Ibrahim had warned me about the implication of using the blade technique these local barbers used to shave. I swatted the memory away like I was trying to get rid of flies hovering around my face and walked in to get a haircut but there was a customer who was been attended to then. So I sat and in amazement, watched to see how the barber skillfully and stylishly used the blade-( which I wasn't used to) to give his customer a clean beard shave. I said to myself, this guy is good at his job, I can't wait to have him carry out this art on me. Prior to now, all my life I had always used a clipper to shave my hair. The guy also looked excited as it was his first time to shave the hair of an African.
I watched him skillfully and passionately cut my hair, and because of his carefulness and attention to detail I just closed my eyes and allowed my body melt into the chair like ice placed on a gas burner. He used up probably about 20 minutes and finally, he was done. He had shaved my head so smooth, I could feel the breeze sink into my brain through my scalp. I literally felt my head reflect sunlight when I stepped out of the shop. So I went home feeling excited about my hair cut as I had prior to now never shaved my hair this low or had an Indian do it.
At the office the next day, everyone had this shocked look on their face as if to say why did you cut your hair so low. I constantly felt Esther and Joelle my co-idexers look at my head from across the desk to see if they had enough lipstick on. It was official, my head had become the mirror for the world. My head shone so brightly, am sure you could hide the Indian 1 rupee coin somewhere on my head. It felt so smooth, I was sure the DJ would be more than willing to use it as a turn table.
My decision to cut my hair using this blade technique was convenient for me then because I couldn't be bothered about going to look for a barber shop where they used clipper which I was used to. But this decision of mine has turned out to be my greatest IDEX regret so far.
The weeks that followed after this ground breaking experience of mine, turned out to be hell for me. I experienced the second greatest itch of my life on my head as my hair gradually grew back. My scalp itched so bad, I'd literally be up many nights because of the discomfort I felt. It's funny how getting the hair cut was comfortable so much so I took a nap, but living with the hair cut was so uncomfortable that it cost me several sleepless nights.
It was in the middle of one of my sleepless nights that I got inspired to write when I realized the depth of lesson life had just unveiled to me. A haircut had just taught me what no University professor or book on success would have taught me. The summary of the lesson learnt is, " never allow the comfort and convenience of today rob you of the comfort and convenience of tomorrow". Never be too blinded by what you need today that you mortgage your tomorrow to secure it.
Decision is like a two edged sword. One side points to the benefits, while the other side points to the consequences. Many of us are often drawn towards the benefits but fail to realize that the consequences are equally as important. Life placed before me two choices when I saw the salon; to either listen to Ibrahim's words and walk away or to go in and get the haircut which I eventually did. The benefits of my decision was short lived but its consequence outlived the benefits.
Life is an adventure through choices. Like Tarzan, we swing daily from choice to choice and are left with both the benefits of our choice or its consequences. Life always makes us choose between discomfort now for comfort later, sowing now for reaping later, paying now for playing later at an older age but unfortunately, we live in a now generation. A microwave generation that is more intrigued by instant gratification than delayed gratification, we strive to satisfy today's desire at the expense of tomorrows desires.
Like my Favourite Nigerian Author David Oyedepo will say, those who pay now in the prime of their youth, play later in the time of old age but those who play now, will pay later. An African proverb puts it this way- Whatever tree a man must sit under in old age, he must plant in the days of his youth.
My counsel after my experience is, before making a decision look past its benefits today into its consequence tomorrow. Put it on a scale to see if today's benefit outweigh tomorrows consequence. If it does, trash the decision.