A close friend of mine, who usually sported a beard, clean shaved himself before a get together. When all of us friends met, some laughed, some mocked and some thought his bearded look was far better than the clean shaved one and asked him, I thought rudely, to shut himself in and come out only when he had grown his beard back. But this friend of mine seemed unaffected. When I was alone with him, I did apologise on behalf of others for our rather kid-like behaviour.
“Don’t be sorry.” He said. “I’m happy I took the decision.”
“What decision?” I was interested.
“Last night, I happened to look in the mirror quite accidentally and all of a sudden realized how much I hated my beard. And yet I was carrying it for more than three years now. Why? Simply fearing what other’s reaction might be seeing me clean shaved. Then it struck me: I was actually living a life which was dictated by other’s preference of me and worse still I was wrongly calling it my life. It was as if I was staying in my own flat but with the interior decided and done by others. Even though I wasn’t comfortable with the interior, still I lived by it. Whether I’m conforming to other’s perception or preference - or whatever you want to call it – of me doesn’t scare me anymore. I agree I may suck with this clean shaved look of mine but what the heck; it’s my choice! And I strongly think the earlier you answer the question ‘who decides your interior’ the better!”