Sipping a long black (that’s a big espresso coffee, dear American readers) with Michael at Albertos this morning, I noticed our waiter’s Movember moustache.
“Can’t wait to shave it off,” he confided. “Children look at me like I’m the scary kind of man their Mums have warned them about.”
Never heard of Movember? The Movember Movement began in Australia and is now worldwide. Men who participate don’t shave their moustaches for the entire month of November as a fundraiser and awareness campaign for men’s health, notably prostate cancer and depression.
“Or I feel like I should be serving coffee to a 70s soundtrack,” he added.
A memory percolated from 1981. I was sitting in the one and only cafe on a small Nigerian campus where we were living at that time. My daughter, Rowan, nine months old, was seated on my lap staring at Max, one of the very few Caucasians around. Max was bald, and sported a moustache and bushy beard to compensate.
Rowan stared, and stared, puzzled, then slowly tilted her head to one side as far as she could, until she was almost viewing Max from upside down.
Suddenly I got it. She hadn’t seen a bald and bearded man before and she must have figured he had his head on upside down. In her whole nine months of life experience, hair belonged on top of the head, bare skin belonged on the chin. She was just trying to make sense of her world.
Isn’t it interesting that when we meet something new, we first try to make it fit with what we already know? It’s human nature, in waking life, and in our dreams which are all about processing our latest experiences and trying to make sense of them.
If Movember had passed you by before you read today’s blog, how quick were you to think I’d made a typo in my opening sentence, meaning to type November? Or did you read it as November anyway, making the word fit with what you already knew?
How can you look at the world in a different way today? Maybe start with a new view of men’s health.