Let Your Hair Down and Connect to a Good Story

If you want to know who has the scoop on what is happening in the lives of the people in your community, consider who you might ask. You might offer up a newspaper reporter—the one with the city beat. You might think of a bartender or the coffee server who gets to hear the sordid details of unfair bosses, runaway loves, and misguided children. Or you may come up with your hair stylist, the one keeping a keen eye on your head while maintaining a close ear to your story. Any of those answers are correct to one degree or another but today I am fascinated by the stories collected by someone in our own community who snips away hair and gathers up stories.

Tonight Shaina, the hairstylist, will become Shaina the art curator, Shaina the director, Shaina the discussion panelist. The documentary and photos she and her friends collaborated on will debut at the Interactive Resource Center in our town of Greensboro.

What struck me about the stories Shaina collected while volunteering to cut hair at a homeless day center was not only her ability to get people to tell their stories, but how those stories weave and intersect as a collective. We are told countless times that we all have a story to tell. And, I hold onto that belief strongly. But what I did not always consider is that our stories bring us together because of the common threads we find and those threads knit our lives into one another. We may offer our individualism through the way our stories unfold—some of us are funny, some of us are more serious, some of us are just confused. Regardless, the reality is those things which make our stories unique make us similar in so many ways. It is why we need to tell and hear stories…not to set us apart, but to bring us together.


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