The Noble Barber
Ellison is a 7-year-old boy with Down’s Syndrome. He has never had someone successfully cut his hair. Prior to meeting Vernon, the Noble Barber, he always resisted. Ellison was scared, startled and his mother had to hold him in bear hug to get through the ordeal. She and Ellison usually left in tears. She characterized each barber shop visit as “horrendous” or “embarrassing.”
Recently, she made an appointment with Vernon. He is the owner of Noble Barber and Beauty in Cincinnati, Ohio. Vernon specializes in cutting the hair of those who need special accommodations. Vernon sets aside extra time for these customers. He takes time to get to know each of these customers. He listens and he reassures. He also doesn’t charge. He says this is his way of giving back.
When Ellison came in for the first time, Vernon told him that he would stop cutting any time that he wanted him to stop. So, Ellison agreed and instantly yelled, “stop.” So, Vernon stopped. Within a few seconds, Ellison laughed and said, “Go.” This continued on for much of the haircut. They preceded to laugh as they turned it into a game. Afterward, Ellison hugged Vernon for a very long time. Ellison’s mother thanked Vernon for being Ellison’s friend.
Joe’s Perspective: In this fast-paced world, it’s nice to see a noble person who is willing to take the time to treat someone with kindness, respect and dignity. The result of this powerful interaction speaks for itself. The world needs more people like Vernon.
Your Turn: What is your reaction to this story?
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