June 8, 2010

The Hairy Truth.

My boyfriend has recently discovered Scrubs, the now-cancelled comedy-drama TV-series about a group of medical students doing their residency in a hospital, full of over the top characters. I’m not sure if the sitcom ever aired in Argentina, but someone got their hands on the first eight seasons on DVD and now there are daily late-night Scrubs marathons on my television. I’m not much for television, but now and then I catch myself paying attention and laughing out loud at the slapstick daydreams of the main character J.D. (played by Zach Braff). Lately, I’ve even found myself having what I refer to as, “Scrubs moments” silently imagining myself saying or doing things I would never actually say or do in real life.

Last night, during a marathon of season five, I tuned in during a scene where an entire family had shaved their heads to support their relative, a young woman diagnosed with leukemia and about to begin radiation therapy. J.D., the girl’s attending doctor, wrestled with the idea of shaving his own head to support his patient. While he wanted to show her that losing your locks was no big deal, he’d just started dating a beautiful woman who was completely up-front about only liking him for his hair. In the end, he did the big-hearted thing and buzzed his dome. Fede had paused the episode just when the whole freshly-shorn family filed into the sick girl’s hospital room to tell me that a few years back that same situation had occured in a school here in Buenos Aires. An entire class of students had come together and bared their heads to support a classmate who’d been diagnosed with cancer.

I have a friend in Philadelphia who in recent weeks has begun a similar hair campaign. After learning that hair could be a solution to the oil disaster in the Gulf Coast, she’s undertaken the responsibility of raising local awareness. Every day, she opens up her telephone book and calls local hair salons and pet groomers to advise them that their bags of trash, at the end of the day, if recycled properly, could make a difference in saving the world. She gives them the shipping instructions and hopes for the best. To those within driving distance, she even offers to come sweep up and do the job herself.

Last night, while lying in bed unable to sleep, I had one of my “Scrubs moments”: I envisioned an entire country full of shiny-headed men and women, naked cats and dogs, buzzed down to the skin, going about their lives with smiling, peaceful faces.  It sounds absurd and fantastical, but it’s just a late-night musing after all. Consider what would happen, though, if we could unanimously drop our vanities and let go of all the dead and useless stuff we’re clinging onto. Yes, it’s a fantasy, but I’m sure I’m not the first to have it. We all know the world would be a better place if we’d stop living from our proud and competitive egos. There is a real life translation though, a compromise between balding ourselves and shaking our furry heads at the idea. Everyone can sacrifice a reasonable amount of energy, time, and yes, hair, to make a difference. Get a haircut, even just a trim. Groom your dog (or your cat if you want a chuckle). While your there, pass on the information that their garbage is a gift to the environment. If you can’t spare an inch and you don’t have a pet, make a simple phone call, tell your friends and tell them to tell their friends, spread the word. They may seem like small efforts, but every effort counts. Remember, every ounce of good energy sent in the right direction will come back to you tenfold.

Hair grows back, and so can our Earth, if we can give her space to.

Sign up online to send your hair donations at:  http://matteroftrust.org/

Nicole is a yoga teacher and freelance writer from Philadelphia, PA currently living in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An explorer at heart, she travels quite a bit, but wherever she goes finds herself at home in nature. She’s happiest barefoot, loves chamomile tea, chocolate and enjoying the simple things in life. Read more about Nicole and her journey at: pacificyogaba.blogspot.com Also, follow her on Facebook and Twitter! Photo by Federico Di Fresco

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