Monday, March 26, 2012

Look For The Signs

Good evening!  I have started Knit Tips Tuesday, but I don't think I'll finish it until tomorrow...stay tuned or just check the facebook page.  And if you're not a knitter (or have no desire to hear about yarn and techniques and crap), please read on.

I don't care if you're religious.  Hell...I carry around a 1.25-inch Teeny Jesus in my purse and capture a photo of him every day, as a tongue-in-cheek to Catholicism and Texans (separate further down the blog if you don't understand the reference).  But I do care about two things...I appreciate people who always try to improve themselves, and I appreciate respectful individuals.

That said, since my faith has been shaken more than once in the last few years, I look for signs.  Yes, some see it as grasping at straws.  Whatever.  Believe what you want.  But I get inspired by someone, design a knitting pattern in their honor (sometimes it's a gift, sometimes it's not), and share it with the world.  I don't make a million bucks designing knitting patterns, but I get a million bucks' worth of warm fuzzies from it.

So this weekend, probably most of you know I shaved my head for St. Baldrick's.  If you look at the last entry, you will see the exit cap I designed and made out of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb.  When I tweeted the story, Lorna's Laces retweeted it so all of a sudden two hundred people more than normal were reading my blog.  To me, this means that two hundred people who knit were now learning about an organization that helps fund research for curing childhood cancers.  SCORE!

I had a brief conversation with a customer this morning who had overheard a conversation with a coworker, and the long and short of it was me telling him the end of the conversation, and him telling me that I inspired him.  ME.  And little does he know, that every day I watch him on his crutches and think how amazing it is that he laughs and jokes with the cashiers every morning while his health improves, and if he wasn't hobbling around with pins and gauze I may never know anything was imperfect.  That, to me, is inspiring.  Grace is inspiring.

The conversation he overheard involved a coworker saying to me, "Can I say something that won't offend you?"  I told him I couldn't promise anything if he was planning on calling me a douchebag.  Fair enough.  He looked me dead in the eye and said, "You look better with hair."

Of course I look better with hair.  I have supermodel hair and I'm female.  But I did it for is a renewable resource.  So is class, but you have to find the source of it before it can be renewed.  And just in case there is any gray area as to why I shaved my head, it's because of penicillin.  Huh?

See, when penicillin was discovered, scientists didn't necessarily work at hospitals and universities with access to millions of dollars in grants.  The three scientists credited with discovering penicillin (at three different times from 1879 to 1928) basically stumbled upon genius when they weren't given much to start with.  That said, we currently live in a time where discoveries are sometimes still stumbled upon.  We also, however, live in a time where millions of dollars of research get us closer and closer, through study after study, to finding the next great revolution.

I collected over twelve hundred dollars from shaving my head.  Who's to say that my twelve hundred may or may not be the missing funding to that next study that finds a cure for a childhood cancer?  Not that any of us would realistically find it out to the dollar, but wouldn't it feel great to read in the paper (well...on the internet) that the cure for neuroblastoma was discovered because of a study funded by money from head-shavers involved in St. Baldrick's?  I think so.

And by the way, my coworker Dave came into work with a perfectly bald head today.  He grows his hair out (including his beard) for a year, and then shaves it all at once.  He re-shaved it this weekend sort of in my honor, and as he took of his hat, he said, "I think anyone that sacrifices themselves and takes a stand is awesome."  And out flew a penny, seemingly out of nowhere.  I laughed.  Believe in signs, don't believe in signs, I don't care.  CJ says hello.

I don't feel disrespected by the coworker...I encountered ignorance.  But this person is making no effort to improve himself.  I will most likely never socialize with him outside of work...ever...for this very reason.

I choose to surround myself with people full of hope.  I shaved my head for charity.  And I hope that because of it...through the twists and turns of the internet and random encounters and what have you...there is someone out there who benefited from it.  And my encounter with the two people from this morning proves to me that someone already has.

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