Barbershop Wisdom

The bi-weekly ritual of making sure nobody mistakes me for a damn hippie took place today.  Most times, Tin the barber just makes small talk about the weather, and usually asks me how my boy is doing, since we both have young sons.  Today was more philosophical than usual.

The first bit of wisdom Tin put forth was regarding the housing market.  You see, he is getting ready to refi to get off of his interest-only mortgage product.  He said, “I have to keep going, I’m not going to sell my house and move.  I have to keep trying.”  He continued, “In my country there is a saying, ‘ride the tiger,’ and this is what I am doing.  If you jump off the tiger, he will eat you!”  This was made all the more profound (and entertaining, dare I say) because he explained this in his thick Vietnamese accent.  What a great metaphore for so many of life’s intricacies.

After Tin went on for a bit about his early life along the Dong Nai river, the conversation went to politics.  Quite out of the blue he gave another piece of wisdom and again, cited his home country as the origin.  He said, “I don’t know how to say this right in English, but where I’m from there is a saying that describes John Edwards – that he hold an umbrella against the sun, no matter the time of day.” 

Well put, Tin.

Well, I guess the lesson from today is that wisdom comes in all forms, and most of life’s lessons have already been taught.  It’s just a matter of realizing you learned.

Most of the politcians and pundits we see are riding the tiger in a big way.  Once they take a position, they stick with it no matter how absurd it seems or how much evidence to the contrary may be presented.  Trillions of dollars spent on “helping the homeless” and on global warming come to mind.

And what politician doesn’t carry a parasol these days.  R’s and D’s alike.  They all twist and turn all day, trying to stay in the shade no matter where the sun is.

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