Dalton Risner
Live Happy, Leave Beard

Many men in America’s great history have had beards. Abraham Lincoln’s beard won him the presidency, just ask Grace Bedell. I believe the beard holds power because it represents respect.

Some of the most revolutionary thinkers throughout time had beards, Plato, Socrates. The ancient Greeks regarded the beard as a badge or sign of virility. Even the Spartans, the manliest men to walk this earth, held the status of the beard so high that they punished cowards by shaving their beards!

In Kentucky, you must be eighteen years old in order to buy tobacco, but I was blessed to have a beard. This isn’t the most appropriate example, but when I was fifteen everywhere I went I was able to buy tobacco. Why? Because I had a beard. For two years, I bought tobacco until the woman at the store asked to see my ID. She never had before. I gave it to her, and she laughed. She said, “I would have never guessed a seventeen year old could have a beard like that!” I wasn’t able to buy tobacco there anymore, but that wasn’t the point.

The point is that beards are reserved in society – for the rich, the old, and the wise. People are amazed that I’m only eighteen. I’m sure any of you who have beards get the same response from people when asked how old you are. “I thought you were twenty!” seems like the common reply. Older people actually pay attention to what I say. They think I have some knowledge; they think I’m respectable, just because I have a beard.

So wear it proudly, let it grow, even if it is just a little scruff. It will get you through the door. I believe the beard is a sign. The sign of a smart, respectful man.

Dalton Linden Risner is a freshman at Big Sandy Community & Technical College. He writes, “I’ve had a beard since my eighth grade year, and I don’t think I could live without it.”



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