Buddha found enlightenment beneath a Bodhi tree, Confucius while observing a grasshopper, and Jesus when he learnt that he could get drunk from water. Man’s path to transcendence is paved by beard growth – but only to those who are open to the four lessons of the hairy chin.
1. Beard Cannot Be Built, It Grow Wild Like Tree and Shrub
Beards do not grow uniform. They patch and sprawl and stunt. They cannot be coerced or encouraged, the beard grows when and where it wants. You are a mere vessel for its growth, the fertile soil beneath the tree. And thus you are without control.
The first couple months of looking like a hobo with dog hair stuck to his chin turns many pirates away from the shores of beard growth. Though for those who endure, a bounty of knowledge awaits. One should not concern oneself about the things they cannot control. Be at peace with the present. Do not venture to the mirror in times of self-consciousness, do not pine for the future and do not shave, because patience bares the hairiest of fruits.
2. Man with Beard Becomes Beard with Man
People may not judge a book by its cover, but that’s because most books can’t grow beards. Once your beard is established the world will see you differently – as if you have a third eye or a thumb growing from your belly button. And this may cause you to begin seeing yourself differently, too.
So when the barman offers you a list of craft beers when all you wanted was a VB, or your barista triple shots your coffee, or if a girl inquires how many men you have bludgeoned that day, do not distress or fight the tide. Accept the person you have become. You see no man is an island. Everyone is affected by how they are treated, and as a man’s personality exists in the liminality between his self and the perception of others, once bearded expect some changes in who you think you are.
3. Beard The Hand That Touches You
People are curious about beards. Like other untold mysteries – shooting stars, string theory or why the middle-class vote Liberal – beards perplex humanity. “Isn’t it hot and itchy?” “Does food get stuck in it?” or “Can I touch it?” will replace the way people greet you. Instead of lamenting over usurped handshakes and hellos, be stoked that your differences not your banalities now mark the way in which you are received.
Generally these questions will come from the ladies as they cannot grow beards themselves, so humour their naiveties, let them have a stroke and relish the attention, because putting your beard into the palm of another is a lot easier than trying to pick up on the dance floor.
4. To Friend and Family Beard Is Temporary Like Season, Bearded Man Knows that it is as Perennial as the Sun
Whether they assume that you were dumped, fired, became a university lecturer, or are simply joining the trend, people will seek to excuse your beard. But your beard does not need excuses – it exists because you want it to exist. It was not an accident, you did not simply fall into a chin hedge and emerge a man. The beard is a lifestyle not a phase.
Whether they are “for” or “against” your beard is as inconsequential as their preferred type of bread. So don’t let your goals of beardsmanship get muddied by others. People use opinions to conceal what they don’t understand.
So beard on hairy brothers; and on your journey remember that beards are measured in time not length, in compliments not insults, in strokes not aversions, and in every damn follicle there lies the teachings of the universe. So learn. – Miles Bouchard.