When I was five or six, I received a profound lesson on worthiness.
It was during the late 60s. The hippie movement was in full force, bringing noticeable discomfort to those who aligned with traditional social norms (classic old/young battle). Naturally, I was not aware of the history of hippies, such as their stance against materialism, their communal living lifestyle and drug use, or their push for peace and justice. Judgments ran high as mainstream society (clutching their collective pearls!) rejected this crusade toward individualism. The establishment deemed hippies as dirty, hedonistic, worthless individuals.
As a kid, I was not conscious of this societal “war.” All I observed at that age were some really cool clothes (!!) and a great deal of long hair.
Which brings me to my lesson, courtesy of my grandfather. It was a pivotal moment—one that definitively shaped who I am today.
For as long as I knew him, my grandpa was bald—no hair on top, with a two- to three-inch rim of silver hair from ear to ear, around the back of his head. Think Fred Mertz.
One day I noticed that grandpa’s hair had grown considerably. That little silver rim was almost touching his shoulders.
I looked up at him and asked, “Grandpa, don’t you need a haircut?”
He smiled and humbly replied, “Maybe, yes. But I want you all to know that just because my hair is long, it doesn’t change who I am.”
Boom. Your basic “don’t judge a book by its cover” lesson, delivered in a silent, patient and loving way.
Grandpa taught and led by example. Growing his hair to that length didn’t happen overnight. He took the time (months?) to grow it longer, and waited for one of us to notice and question him. Ever patient, he presented this deep and meaningful message to his kids and grandkids without a single lecturing word.
Grandpa was a true humanitarian. I’m sure it hurt his heart to watch the youth of that era being bullied and made to feel unworthy just for expressing their unique ideas and choices. He didn’t know it at the time but the surge of this nonconformist, “free love” lifestyle would have a lasting impact on society (hello organic food, mainstream yoga, unmarried couplings, single parenting, music, bell bottoms, religious diversity, etc!).
What he did know is that every being holds unique value and should be celebrated. And I—still a hippie—wholeheartedly agree.
This week’s Soul Guidance assures us we are sacred and worthy of full love and acceptance, simply because we exist.