Earlier this week I was listening to the Steve Harvey Morning Show. The show comes on when I am about 30 minutes into my commute to work. Before all of the cast come on, Steve does a motivational segment that is often followed by a fitting gospel song. I love this segment and turn it up each time that it is on. This particular morning, Steve was speaking about moving forward and letting go of things that we have been holding on to in the past.
Often times Steve will use a personal experience to convey the message of the day. On this day he told of a young man that kept coming up to him trying to share what he was doing and basically trying to get Steve's attention. Steve acknowledged that what he would say about this situation next would get him a lot of emails but he described this man's hair as very long locs. He said that he told the young man that though he was trying to share all he was doing, Steve found his hair distracting. When asked why he had this hair the young man responded that he had been growing it since he was a young boy. Steve asked "what does it do for you?" to which the man responded "I like it. It's a part of me."
Steve goes on to tell the man that we cannot hold on to everything from our youth. He also says that had held on to his love of ice cream, he'd be busting out of the nice suits he wears. Apparently this message struck the boy as profound and he later cut his hair, was overjoyed, and looked "so groomed." I am happy that the situation worked out for this young man but the issue that I had with the story is that it touched a sensitive spot of my own involving my natural hair and obtaining work.
For those of you who do not know, I began my transition to natural during my Junior year of college. I had gotten to the point where there was a good few inches of natural hair and old styles were just not working out. I was having to quickly learn new ways to style my hair. It was this time that I had an incident with a family member who texted me about my hair and another incident short afterward with my mom. You can follow either of those links for more detail.
The situation with my mom hurt the most. She told me that I needed to do whatever I was going to do with my hair--get a texturizer--whatever, soon. She told me that I would be getting a job soon and I did not look well groomed. She also told me that anyone complimenting the styles I had been trying with my hair was lying. Here I sit 4 years later. I am on my second job due to relocation, earning a paycheck from my current job AND my last at once. The other teachers love my hair, the children love my hair, and the parents raved over it at first meeting me.
Anyone who does not accept you for who you are isn't worth working for anyhow. Though I didn't agree with Steve, I still tuned into his show the next morning and will continue to do so.
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