Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Where's the ____________ gone?

Any excuse for a Pirates of the Carribean reference! Never mind the really bad eggs, I have really bad ENDS right now.

My hair is combination – my scalp gets oily 2-3 days after being washes, but my ends get really dry and damaged. This causes my already riotously curly hair to frizz and frazzle. I have managed to find a fantastic (and ridiculously cheap) hairdresser, which is literally within walking distance from me, with wonderfully friendly and talented staff. There is really no reason why I shouldn't be able to go in for a trim every 6 weeks like it's recommended... but somehow it always ends up being 4-6 months between visits. Why?

Well, one possible explanation may have to do with the fact that I'm growing my hair out, and thus am reluctant to lose even a centimeter of hard-won length. But we all know that healthy hair grows faster, so whatever length I lose in a trim will be quickly regained, as my hair stops wasting effort on trying to repair split ends.

Time-wise? Calling and making an appointment, then the getting there, and the waiting to get it done... realistically, all of this together, even including the length of the actual appointment once I'm in the chair would barely even amount to 45 minutes taken out of my week.

So what is my problem?
Hold onto your socks, (non-existant) readers, I'm about to make a wild leap into cyber-space with a very eccentric analogy here... is my seeming apathy, and extended procrastination about my hair at all similar to the socio-political apathy and inactivity that plagues the Western world? Let me explain. We all know that our society is far from perfect. It only takes a few minutes' discussion to pinpoint some of the major issues in policy and convention. So if nobody's really happy with the way things are... why haven't they been changed yet?

Humans are creatures of habit. One of the biggest barriers to quitting smoking (besides combating the addiction to nicotine) is breaking the habits, and changing the behaviours that made smoking a part of your daily routine (or something you relied on in times of stress).

The longer I leave my hair untrimmed, the more damaged it gets, and the more I end up having to get chopped off when I finally go to the hairdresser. The socio-politic equivalent of this is sadly, millions of dollars being spend on new buildings, laws and programs bent on patching up the mess we've made. Homeless shelters, prisons, hospitals – these institutions are just a few of the areas that bear the brunt of our shortcomings. The longer we leave things as they are, the worse it gets. Even in such privileged countries as Australia suffer from high unemployment, national debt, hospital overcrowding, high suicide rates, sexism and racism in the workforce. What are we doing to change this?

Most people don't like change, even when they know it's going to be a 'good' change. They like the familiar, the known – things that are predictable. Change means uncertainty. Adapting. Learning, and sometimes forgetting things we learned before. It's uncomfortable. However change, like haircuts, is/are good for us. It's progress, growth and development, which should be encouraged.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to call my hairdresser...

1 comment:

  1. I think you've made a good point here ... why is it that when there's something we know needs to change, and it is easy, cheap, and practical for us to do so, do we still hang on to the old ways? And you're definitely right - we don't like change. We do like the familiar. I think we not only need to accept / encourage change, we also ought to try to make a habit of it.

    Have you read 'The 7 habits of highly effective teenagers'? (I'd recommend it, it's well-written and not patronising). There's a great poem at the beginning about habit ... if you go to his website here: you can flick through the first few pages and find it. Habits shape us, and help us or hinder us.

    I don't think society places enough value on getting into the habit of doing the right* thing, all the time, and I think that if we as a society could grow to do this then it would fix a fair number of problems. It's easy to decide that something doesn't matter very much, so you'll let it slide ... and maybe it doesn't matter, but you're kind of training yourself into being apathetic. And apathy is ... undesirable, shall we say.

    Anyway, I'll get off my soapbox now, because this is something I feel pretty strongly about, and I've probably preached too much already. How's your hair doing?

    *'right' being shorthand for "the moral right thing / the thing that will lead to most progress / the thing that will most increase understanding and education / ..." etc.


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