By Mark Edgemon

One day, in a 6-year-old boy’s life, he was taken to the local barbershop for his first haircut. The father, who had always sported an assortment of crew cuts, flat tops and buzz cuts, intended for his son to receive the same treatment.

But the son did not want his hair cut off and he definitely did not want to look like his father. But between the self centered father and the irritated barber, they forced the haircut on him, much to his shame. He was laughed at by the neighborhood kids and glared at by shoppers walking past him, when accompanying his mother to the grocery store.

The male barber began to man handle the boy to keep him from squirming in the chair. The boy cried each time as he was forced against his will to have his hair cut off by the insensitive barber.

After seven months of torment, his mother stepped in and said she would take him to get his haircut from now on, which calmed the young boy’s fears. At least somebody loved him, he thought to himself.

The boy never forgot that horrific experience, which continued in his thoughts throughout his childhood. After finishing college, he had become a strapping young man of twenty-two. He started his own construction company and after several successful construction projects, had enough money saved aside to make an investment. The investment he made was the purchase of the old barbershop, which he had not seen since he was six.

He walked into the barbershop the following day, only to find the same barber standing behind the barber chair, looking much like he had remembered him. The barber said, “Take a seat, there’s no waiting today. We’ve been a little slow.”

“I’m not here for a haircut,” the young man replied.

“Then what do you want?” the barber said gruffly.

“Do you remember the 6 year old boy who sat in that chair and hated getting burr haircuts about 16 years ago? Well, that boy is me.”

“So you’re the brat,” the barber smirked. “If you don’t want a haircut, then what do you want?”

The young man replied, “I just bought the land your barbershop is on.”

“So what do you plan to do, raise my rent?” the increasingly agitated barber exclaimed.

Just as the barber made that statement, he noticed through the front window, construction equipment unloading in the parking lot, which included a wrecking crane that was slowly moving past the front of his barbershop.

“You can’t destroy my shop!” the barber raged. “I’ve been here for over 38 years!”

“Well you know what they say, hair today, gone tomorrow,” the young man stated. He felt that he was about to settle the matter that had dogged him throughout his childhood.

Five minutes later, the barbershop was a pile of stones and the barber just stood outside thinking to himself, “I would have been nicer to the kid, if I’d only known he was going to be somebody important.”

Moral: The children who play in your presence today, will one day be the authority you stand before in your old age.

Copyright © 2008 Mark Edgemon

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