Here at Tend The Farm, our love of facial hair is deep. Stubble, goatee, moustache, mutton-chops, van dyke, fu manchu – we love them all equally. We love Abraham Lincoln, who forged a beard after being asked to by an 11 year old future voter. We even smiled at the Brad Pitt-without-a-home look when he filmed that dreadful World War II movie. It goes without saying, that historically speaking, facial hair is pretty much the mark of a great man.
Over the years, I’ve grown to love even my own facial hair. My wife and daughter hate it when it gets scraggly claiming it “feels weird” when delving out my morning kisses when I leave the house for work. My bitterness towards shaving has existed since I used a razor for the first time. Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer – I could wear a heavy beard all the time. The season has no barring in this conversation.
I find myself rightfully amped up when November rolls around, because like so many others who champion a good hair folical, we refuse to shave our upper lips. Sports teams, corporate social climbers, restaurateurs, the pizza delivery guy, the mailman, ministers, policemen, firefighters, repairmen, pilots, stay-at-home dads, and a random assortment of other professions have participated in the years of unshaven bliss.
Less than a few months after I was born, I lost my grandfather to prostate cancer. A highly successful Navy doctor in a MASH unit, my grandfather died before I even had a chance to know who he was. In his absence I’ve grown found of him, through my father, through pictures and stories, and through the life lessons passed down from generation to generation. In recent years, I’ve had a father in law that was diagnosed with prostate cancer. However, his journey was vastly different from that of my grandfathers. He visited the doctor regularly, and at the first sign of problems. He did his research, informed his family, and tackled the disease head on. In November of 2012, he’s in perfect health. He has the rest of his life to enjoy alongside his grandchildren.
Each Movember (or November to all you mustache haters) men are encouraged to encourage other men. Why? Prostate cancer and other male-specific health issues are an important discussion topic. And like so many men, all to often they go undiscussed, unchallenged, unresearched, and thus a danger to us all.
All around the world, since 2003, men have left that furry portion of their lip in tact to bring awareness and raise money for men’s health issues. Is it about the guys’ upper lip? Absolutely not. But it does challenge a thought provoking conversation between men on the subject of health, and that’s always a good thing.
Back to the beginning. We at Tend The Farm implore you to contribute to this campaign in two ways. If you’re a guy, grow a moustache. Visit www.movember.com, select your region, create your MoSpace, and ask people to give unselfishly. Second, if you’d like to contribute to a campaign, visit the moustache in the top right corner of this page or click here. You’ll be able to view my facial hair journey, study the facts on men’s health issues, and donate a bit if you can.
Remember to give. And always remember to have an annual physical, and encourage family and friends to do the same. Because Movember is about more than a mustache, it’s about life. Choose to live healthy.