The Story of Samson
I know, I know. You read the headline and you’re right back in freshman history class. Your eyelids actually start to sag, and drool pools behind your lower lip. But read on, fellow longhair, for an important lesson to learn here, there is.
First, some context: if you’re at all familiar with the Old Testament, you know it’s kind of insanely brutal – fratricide, patricide, matricide, genocide, tribal wars, pyromania, disease, famine, infidelity, prostitution, and a whole lot of sword-slashing. Samson is no exception. In fact, he’s kind of like the megalomaniacal poster-boy of ancient Biblical violence.
This guy spent the majority of his young adulthood commingling with hookers, killing Philistines, and terrorizing small animals, all in the name of self-entertainment. Seriously, he was a wicked dude.
But for the sake of not leaving you, the reader, nauseous at the end of this story, we’ll gloss over the more unpleasant details of Samson’s life (like how he “ripped” a full-grown lion apart. Wait, what??) Instead, we’ll focus on his hair and how it defined him, and eventually decided his fate.
Legend Has It
Our story begins a really, really long time ago, in a tribe-land named Dann (now central Israel). Legend has it that an angel appeared to Samson’s mother at the time of his birth, essentially saying, “No wine, no hard liquor, complete devotion to the Big Man, and I promise your son will grow some crazy flow. He will then use the power of his manly mane to free his people from Philistine oppression. Oh, and he’ll be a grade-A badass.”
So as Samson grew older, his hair grew longer. He became the strongest and most victorious warrior in his region, his flowing hair the source of his great power and strength.
Let’s pause for a moment to reflect on that. Samson was not unlike longhairs of today; except our locks are the source of our individuality, our confidence, our sense of adventure, and our commitment to going against the status quo. Samson’s mane gave him strength, and his strength set him apart as a man and a warrior. A longhair’s mane gives him an identity, and that identity gives him steadfastness and confidence in all aspects of his life.
The story continues, and Samson, as men may, falls for the type of babe who is absolute poison for him – a Philistine. Well the Philistines are no fans of Samson obviously, so they recruit his new wife, Delilah, to find out from Samson what provides him with his immense strength. She kept at it day after day, nagging him to reveal his secret. He finally spilled. He told her, “A razor has never touched my head… If I were shaved, my strength would leave me; I would be as helpless as any other mortal.”
Baaad move, Sammy.
Delilah butchers his divine doo in the night while he sleeps, stripping him of his strength. Philistine soldiers capture and abduct him, and he is unable to fight them off.
During his trial, after he has been tortured, blinded, and broken, Samson prays to God for one last ounce of strength. God grants it, and the hair on his head grows back rapidly. Noticing the return of his power, Samson tears down the two pillars he is chained to in a Philistine temple, burying all of his captors in the rubble. But Samson perishes along with them, and so his story comes to a bittersweet end.
What We Learn From Samson
Through the lens of modernity, we can observe a crucial lesson in the tale of our forefather: longhair is not all that we are. To Samson, his hair was his everything. With vanity, he glorified his hair as the only part of his persona that mattered; he permitted it to be the single characteristic of his identity. This rendered him vulnerable. Furthermore, he abused its privileges and sold out his secret powers to his mortal enemies.
So remember, fellow Longhairs, what Samson failed to – longhair is a tool that enables us in our quest for identity and individuality. It is the guiding light; the inspiration to be something different, something selective, that only our Longhair brethren can truly understand. But long hair is not a permanent fixture, and it is not indefinite. Once you have it, it does not embody everything that you are. It is a souvenir of your journey, a reminder of the development and progress you’ve made as an individual. The long hair on our heads signals outwardly that we are different, but the real difference in our identities, ambitions, values, and senses of self lie beneath the surface, in our souls.
Holdfast the mane, brothers! Likes Samson, let us harness our inner strength and power as we each continue on our respective journeys.