THE COURAGEOUS CLASS Q&A: NASIR SOBHANIShare
What message do you want to share with the world?
The message I surround myself with, which is inspired by the Baha’i Faith, is to “let your vision be world-embracing.” No prejudice, only love. Everyone deserves to be heard, to be loved, and to be treated with respect. Service to humanity is a pillar of the Baha’i faith and this message has become a driving force of “The Streets Barber” movement. When a client sits in my chair, I try to speak to them like a friend, to see and recognize the humanity in them, and treat them with respect so that they feel good about themselves. It’s amazing the kind of change I have seen in people who just crave some human interaction. Everyone can give the gift of empowerment.
How do you LOOK GOOD, FOR GOOD?
I believe there is an innate beauty in every human being, and empowering people by helping them feel good about themselves will revive that beauty, which in turn allows them to show their true inner beauty. Every person who sits in my chair receives the same love and attention. Whether you’re a paying client or a street client, you deserve the same treatment and care you would get from any barber. It’s hard to try to change the world and your mindset when you don’t feel good. Looking good probably helps you feel good, too! I want people to become heroes, and simply getting a haircut can sometimes help people feel like one. Some people ask, “how is a haircut going to change someone?” To which I answer: how different do you feel after getting a haircut? #CleanCutCleanStart is a state of mind represented by how you feel about yourself; it’s a foundation of confidence acting as a springboard to propel you into action. Don’t give up. I try to reflect all my inspiration back into the world. Every day I strive to better myself, and better my environment through serving humanity.
How has adversity shaped who you are today?
It’s given me empathy. In the past, I chose to be a follower, not a leader, and that’s when adversity found me. It really dragged me down. I let it hold me back from making something of my life and I hated myself for it. Then I found my passion and my purpose was set—to empower people by helping them look good in order to feel good. Adversity has made me humble, grateful, and reconnected me with my spiritual purpose. It’s given me a more pure lens through which to see the world, never to judge anyone, and to believe in everyone. Tests and difficulties are there to make you stronger, those battle scars have further developed my love for humanity, and given me the drive to do good. God never tests you beyond your own capacity. You can do it. Keep going.
What is some advice you have for people trying courageously to change the world?
There is so much beauty and positivity around us. If you choose to look for it, it’s all around us. Once you find it, use it to help change the world. Find your passion and do it with a spirit of service. I mirror love and inspiration back out to the world and take pride in my presentation. Society projects this image that life is full of negativity. The truth is that we are surrounded by beauty and we should learn to recognize that more. Those that step out of the norm are the courageous ones. If we’re lucky, we’ll only have around 30,000 days on this planet, so to me, there is no room for hesitation. It is our duty to give every ounce of effort in order to help the world become a better place, and find and work with others trying to achieve the same.
What are ways that others can get involved with your community?
The Baha’i writings state that the greatest prison is the prison of self. Try to free yourself from this prison and do not focus on your own perceived lack of capacity. You can help anyone. Give up these insecurities in an effort to ensure that you will be guided and assisted by a greater power. You can overcome obstacles and fears you may come across in your path of service. To make a sacrifice is to receive a gift. To me, helping others is actually a gift. You don’t necessarily need to fly halfway across the world to help people and make a difference. Even a simple smile at your fellow human, right in your own neighborhood, can go a long way. It’s all about acknowledging our capacity in order to help one another. Be creative and come up with a way to help someone close to you, or continue on with community efforts and join an already established program to serve the community. It doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it is done in the spirit of service. Opportunities for showing love and serving humanity are limitless and have no boundaries, and I do not want to limit these options or restrict the vision. But since I was asked, if people would like to derive inspiration from the work that I am doing, then check out www.thestreetsbarber.com and #CleanCutCleanStart
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