Some folks may laugh at this one, but I touched on it in the video below; Beards & Spirituality. I read a post on instagram recently from a guy who shaved his Beard off and is ranting how he’s still a man, and he’s had enough of the Beard ‘Fad.’ The meme about ‘running drops pounds, beards drop panties’ is a specific thing he mentioned. It’s not so much a ‘fad’ as it is a movement. For many years, a hundred or so actually, Bearded men have been looked down on for the most part. Between Societal pressures and advertising we’ve been led to believe shaving is the key to manhood. It’s so bad so as most major corporations practice ‘Facial Discrimination’ and have anti-Beard policies in place. This idea of shaving couldn’t be further from the truth. Bearding is much more then just letting your Beard grow out; and we’re talking to an appreciable length here, not necessarily a business length Beard.
The ‘process’ of Bearding isn’t just a ‘physical’ thing our bodies do; it’s a spiritual thing too. As The Beard grows out we get to deal with folks around us more then usual, the naysayers and ‘haters’ as it were. Being able to stand up to this is as important to Bearding as being able to deal with the ‘itch!’ I’ve said it before and here’s a good time to insert it here too; “When growing one’s Beard out, you learn not only about yourself, but about those around you.” It is a growing process both in physical terms and emotional ones as well.
The ‘process’ of Bearding teaches us tolerance. Tolerance to laugh off comments (sometimes meant rudely) that others may make to us about our Beards. That tolerance we learn is beneficial to us throughout many others situations in life. Perhaps that’s why they say Bearded Fathers are the best; tolerance is key for them. The Beard is hair on a man’s face, but it’s not ‘just’ hair on a mans face. We learn valuable Life lessons in the process.
The Beard also teaches us patience. Most guys can’t grow a full, thick Beard the first time they let it grow out and they get frustrated. It’s similar to life really. As the Beard starts to grow, it’s thin or patchy in some areas, not quite unlike us as young men; lessons unlearned. As we age, The Beard matures; it thickens, fills in, and gets longer, if we let it. Patience is indeed a virtue. You can shave and hope the myth is true, and that The Beard will come in thicker and fuller, but alas it will not do so. It takes time; many years in most cases for a Beard to mature; fill in, thicken, and get longer. In life too, as we age, we learn more, become more wise (in most cases), and settle comfortably into being ‘us.’ …and ‘patience’ is something I think most of the people on the planet could use a bit more of!
Growing out your Beard also shows us how much people rely on ‘appearances’ and ‘stereotypes.’ Your friends and family may ‘jokingly’ harass you, and those who don’t know us may perceive us as homeless, drug addicts, criminals, etc. It becomes very apparent how shallow human beings can be. There are those of course whom a Beard will attract and these are the real folks. Folks who see and know the importance of a Beard to a man; not just a ‘men wear beards’ thing, but betting that a guy with a full, thick, and long Beard is a more mature person then the smooth shaven guy next to him, is probably a winner.
The Beard teaches us to relax. Life can be difficult and just taking a few moments, stroking your Beard can do wonders for you. Helps clear the thoughts, probably lowers our Blood Pressure too. Stroking one’s Beard is definitely therapeutic!
The Beard gives us Strength. It’s like going into a fight with a buddy by your side. I believe wearing a Beard helps us harness that in us which is primordially male. Think of the story of Samson in the Bible. Having had his hair cut off, he lost his ‘strength.’ It seems to give us bravery and bolster our self-image. Makes us more resolute, more honest to ourselves. It can bolster a ‘brotherhood’ with other Bearded men.
The Beard helps connect us to the Earth around us. It’s documented with Native American Indians and their long hair. In the war, many were employed as trackers as they are the best! Once in the military though, having had their hair shaved off, they couldn’t find their way out of a paper bag. Studies were done and the results; the hairs helped them pick up minute movements and sensations which made them key trackers. Without the hair they were near useless. After this study was done, Native Americans in the military were allowed to keep their long hair.
So The Beard teaches us 1. Tolerance, 2. Patience, 3. Calm, 4. Focus (strength), and 5. Connects us to our environment.
As always I reserve the right to add/subtract, expand on, or delete this article.
Thanks for your time.
Gary W Norman