This week I learned a life lesson and I was found wanting. Overdue for a haircut I went to a new hairdresser, Chantal. My first impression judged her (with great inaccuracy), within the first seconds of meeting her, I put her in a box labelled ‘slightly low class’ and ‘intellectually challenged’. Yuck! How awful of me! My 3-year-old daughter Acacia warmed instantly to Chantal, unusual as she is a shy child.
During the haircut Chantal shared that she probably can’t have children, having tried with her ex for 6 years. He cheated on her and left to find someone who can give him children. Chantal’s parents are alcoholics and she grew up in an orphange. She is 28 now and has adopted her 2 younger brothers aged 7 and 14, they were also in an orphanage. She earns no fixed income, only commission at the salon where she works. Last week she had only 2 clients during the entire week. In relationships she faces the challenges of a single mother, a partner will have to accept her siblings.
While Chantal was trying to bring my hair to order, Acacia was fiddling with my hair, Chantal said to her “Don’t become a hairdresser”. I asked her what her dreams are, she would love to work at an orphanage, have her own salon or be a flight attendant. Throughout our conversation the warmth of her nature glowed, she showed no trace of self-pity or bitterness, at times a cloud of hurt flitted briefly over her sunny eyes but only for an instant.
I left Chantal’s company humbled, she is a far better person than me, a truly good soul. I wished that I had the power or means to make some real difference in her life, wave a wand and grant her wishes. Still she is happy, more so than many with wealth and better social standing.