Emily is a little young to be sick of people telling her to donate her hair. Maybe that's why she was able to do it with such grace.
Here's why you shouldn't let other people pressure you into donating your hair:
1. It's your body and you like your hair the way it is.
Good for you! Too many people feel crappy about their bodies. Let's not add one more reason.
2. It took a long time to grow it out.
Most people's hair only grows about six inches each year. If you cut it all off, and you regret it, you're going to be stuck with that decision for a long time.
3. You're tired of people you barely know telling you to do it.
No-brainer here. Hey, stranger, here's an idea. I'll donate my hair when you sell your iPhone and send the proceeds to cancer researchers, okay?
But here's why you might consider it:
1. You're helping someone who is going through a really difficult time. The pain of a life-threatening disease can feel even worse when your hair all falls out.
Imagine having to go to elementary school in a scarf. To endure stares when you go to the store without a hat. To be mistaken for a boy.
I donated my hair back in 2009, and I was super glad after I did it. I agonized over the decision, though. Emily surprises me by being so matter-of-fact about it. I have toddlers. Toddlers can be jerks. They're still learning to think about how other people feel. It's a magical moment when they apologize after hitting each other. Seeing a three-year-old who has such strong empathy for sick children is astonishing.
I'm a grown-up person. I literally have advanced degrees in imagining myself in someone else's shoes. So why am I, once again, struggling with a decision that this tiny girl made pretty lightly?
I know how this goes. I've been here before.
You obsess for months, a year maybe. You go back and forth.
Then one afternoon, you say, "Screw it," and pick up your big sword.
Hahaha, just kidding. Don't use a sword. Go visit Emily's uncle Matthew or the hairdresser of your choice. Tell them you're donating it, and they'll know what to do.
Once you get out of the chair, you'll wonder what you waited for. Seriously, your head will feel 10 pounds lighter. You'll look at the ponytail in your hand and think,
"It's so small. How can this change someone's life?"
But it will, and you know that.
Emily's totally got it.
"I have a lot of hair, and they don't have any. So I'm going to give them some of mine."
Thanks for making it simple, Emily.
I'm going to do it again. My hair came to me for free, and it's time to pass it along to someone who needs it more than I do.