My name is Stefano and I’m a hairdresser.
We all get caught up in the routine of everyday life and our society moves so quickly that if you stop you are left out, and end up being last. Eventually it gets too much and you need to take the time to find yourself again.
This summer that’s what I did. I decided to take some time to find myself through a mission experience in San Juan de Lurigancho (Peru). The days were both full and intense, and they passed between haircuts and smiles of countless toothless children. I was paid by the children’s smiles, and the gratitude of a prostrate and sick old man. That joy in people’s eyes has filled me with a love that is impossible to describe with words.
One day I went to El Niño hospital in Lima and spent the whole morning cutting hair and playing with the children. When I said goodbye to one of the children he asked me if I would be back the next day to play with him. I said no, because I had to go somewhere else to cut other children’s hair. I thought the boy would be disappointed, but to my surprise he told me: “Well, I’m happy that you’re going somewhere else, to make other children happy.” His answer touched me to the core.
I have rediscovered the true meaning of living, the value of a hug and a sincere smile. I have understood the importance of learning to stop, of having time to enjoy the people by our side, because what we lose in our haste we will never get back.