What Would Woody Do: Saratoga’s Kindness And Generosity Bubble

Take a seat in Joe 'Woody' Wood's barber's chair. It's quite a ride.

What Would Woody Do?

Here at Woody’s Barbershop in Saratoga Springs, lots of things happen. Men come and tell me stories about their past and current lives, including their hopes and dreams for the future. But this time around, I’m not going to share with you my own story, or a tale from one of my most interesting customers. No, this time, I’m sharing you the real news in our current world—at least how it appears, locally.

Today, if you were to watch any off the news channels or read a local paper, you would be shown an overabundance of bad news, chaotic stories and how the world and the USA are in complete and utter disarray. It doesn’t matter what channel you prefer to watch or paper you tend to read—they’re all roughly the same, in my opinion—if you believe what they’re showing you, I’m sure that you, too, would be under the general belief that the US is on the verge of complete disunity among its citizens and political parties; and our human desire for kindness is at an all time low. We’re seemingly all at each others’ throats over our political points of view, and we can’t seem to agree on anything—or are just unwilling to listen. In fact, every time I watch TV or read the newspaper, if I let the crazy part of my mind wander, I start thinking that we’re on the brink of political civil war.

Well, I’m here to tell you, it’s not happening in Saratoga. At least not in Woody’s Barbershop. Kindness and generosity has never been more alive and well over the last couple of months inside this shop. Now, maybe it helps that us barbers go to extremes not to talk politics when our customers are in our chairs, but either way, people have been super kind and generous as of late. Case in point: We usually get a guy or two—about once a month—who’ll buy an active member of the US military or a vet his haircut as a “thank you” for his service, especially over the holidays. But since the beginning of February, we’ve seen the most generous and kind customers we’ve ever encountered. People have been buying other strangers’ haircuts, so that when they get in our chairs, they get a welcome surprise…sort of a pass-it-on type thing. It’s really been a sight to see, not just for the Navy guys or vets waiting in line, but just for the everyday guy that happens to drop in to get a haircut. It’s been an amazing thing!

People have also been speaking to one another more openly, too, and sharing political views (yes, even against our wishes) and seemingly listening to one another and respecting their views. Could it be that we live in a bubble here in Saratoga? I don’t know. But what I do know is that peace, kindness, love, forgiveness, communication and respect can cure everything that’s ailing this country, and I’m proud that it’s happening here. Maybe saratoga living has a way of doing that, too, for all of us who are open to it. It certainly has been a blessing to witness it, and to be part of it.

Until next time,

Woody

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