Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hair for Hope

Went to shave my hair yesterday to support the Children Cancer Foundation 'Hair for Hope' event. Even though the event is supposed to be held today at Velocity, i went to cut my hair at my neighbourhood in attempt to avoid the crowd.

Why do I shave my hair? Mainly for the aims of the event:

1. Create awareness of childhood cancer in Singapore

2..Show to children with cancer and their families that they are not alone in their fight against cancer.

3. Boost the self-esteem of children undergoing chemotherapy by sending the message that that there is nothing wrong in losing their hair or being bald.

4. Raise funds to help children with cancer and their families

5. Build a community of support for children with cancer and their families.

Frankly speaking, there were a lot of fears when I first decided to have my head shaved. "How will other people look at me? Will I get stares? What if I look ugly? Is the event even meaningful? Will there be long queue? Is it worth the wait? Since it is free there, why should I spend money cutting at other places...

Finally, after some thoughts and support by my lovely girlfriend, I went to the barber to have my hair shaved. I also decided that since it is a symbolic gesture I did not have to confine myself to shave at Velocity.

When I first told the barber that I wanted to have my head shaved, he was shocked. That look on his face was priceless. He must have thought that I was crazy. After my explanation, it turned out that his son had recently just recovered from thyroid cancer too. What a coincidence! He shared with us on his view in life that no matter what happened, we should live our life to the fullest. We should be thankful for every single living moment we have now. Such a great way to live. Don't you agree?

In the midst of my shaving, I had to admit that when the hair from my right head was gone, I felt certain tingles of sadness. It was like something that I had held deeply to have disappeared. Something that I had used to identify myself with for a long time. It was interesting to realize that how often that we had identified ourselves with our hair. How often did we determine a person's character by his/her hair. Neat hair style equal to decent. Short equal to sporty. Funky hair equal to rebellious character. No hair equal to baldness, cancer or weirdo. I still remember the days where I spent hours in the front of the mirror trying to get the perfect hair style just to give the right impression.

When I was out of the barber shop, I actually felt lighter. It was as if I had left that identity behind. It was like I am peeling though the layers of my identifications and slowly getting to my core self. I know I know... It may just due to the reduce of weight on my head .

There was a good boost to my self-esteem too, knowing that I had done it for a cause. I guess it also helped that I think I looked real good in bald! ^o^ During my walk home, I realized that there are no stares from strangers which reminded me of a phrase I read before, 'When we know how little people think of us, we will think less of what people think about us.'

Great to be a baldy.