The Surprising Lesson The Barber From Vietnam Taught Me

I went to the barbershop today. But I ended up getting something far more valuable than a haircut. …I got a new perspective on life.

I asked my barber… “Have you ever seen anything like this?”

“Anything” …referring to COVID-19, of course.

He said, “No. But I’ve seen worse.”

My barber grew up in Vietnam in the 1980s, where one in four people were starving. EXTREME FAMINE.

When he was four or five years old, his mother began to beg for food. He starved. His brother starved. His mother starved.

If he was lucky that day, he would find a little bit of rice. This went on for six years (!!). When he was 11, his family fled Vietnam for the United States. In the United States, he learned how to cut hair. He worked and worked and worked some more.

Eventually, he opened up his own barbershop. By all indications, it’s a successful one. Here was a man who couldn’t read, who grew up in extreme poverty, who was begging for food when he was growing up …and he was able to build a successful business in the United States.

Now, his children are able to read. But most importantly – they have food. He has provided a better life for the next generation. The barber told me people ask him who he’s voting for. But he doesn’t care who’s president. He’s just grateful to be alive. To have food.

You don’t choose where you’re born. You don’t choose when you’re born. You don’t choose the hand life deals you. Sometimes we lose sight of this. We take it for granted. We argue about drama, sports, and politics.

Sometimes, we fail to appreciate just how good it really is. It’s not always perfect in the United States (or any free society, for that matter). But if we have food on the table, a roof over our heads, and WiFi in our pockets… we have a lot to be grateful for.

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