Tattoos and Tolerance


Deeper Meaning and Symbolism of Tattoos

When I got my first tattoo I was 16.  Not legal these days, but back then, the tattoo circuit wasn’t as regulated.

I got it for myself.  It represented a lot of deep sentiment and symbolism.  But I never anticipated the backlash from society.  No joke.  I got a big awakening about social opinion after that first tattoo.

Consider a tiny little girl in Texas with this massive dragon tattoo sprawling across her arm and back.  Ladies in the grocery store would gawk and gag.  Old folks would hang their heads to express shame.  Rude comments were made.  It was not pretty.  But my tattoo was (is) pretty.  And it meant something.

That’s my point.  Sometimes we have to make statements.  I’m not promoting getting a tattoo to do so.  I’m just saying – sometimes making a stand for our beliefs can be painful.  Sometimes it means nasty consequences from society.  I guess if you make a stand, you’re going to have to determine the risk, and whether or not you’re willing to grind through those risks.

Needless to say, the nay-saying didn’t stop me from getting more tattoos.  It’s never stopped me from speaking my mind.  Public opinion has never stopped me from being fierce about my own opinions, expanding knowledge, and the freedom of sharing symbolic insights.

I’ve rocked a lot of boats.  You may have too.  How do you handle that?

These days, my tattoos and my views are far better accepted than they were decades ago, thankfully.  But if you’re a rebel with a cause – what do you do when you’re clearly on the other side of public opinion?

I’d like to think there is room in this lovely, diverse world to freely embrace lots of wisdom and opinions.  Of course, this is a naive view.  In truth – for such a vast world – there can be a lot of narrow minds.

All this to say, I’ve learned a lot of lessons about expressing opinions (and tattoos) over the years.  And I’ve come to a conclusion……

I think tolerance is the best tact.  If somebody doesn’t get where you’re coming from, I recommend turning a cheek and tolerating their narrow view.

Granted, there are some times when I’ve gone atomic – but not for my sake – always for the sake of whomever I’m defending.  In other words, don’t mess with my dogs, family or friends.  And sometimes I get nuclear over my views….but I take a more relaxed stance on that point.  Why?  Because symbolism and beliefs are personal and subjective.  I’m ok with conceding.  I’m ok to agree to disagree.

I don’t think we’re here to convert other people.  Whether it be tattoos, beliefs or politics – our job is not about winning folks on our side.  It’s about tolerance, patience, understanding and meeting folks in the middle.

Just sayin.

May all your rebel rousing be executed with peace and tolerance.

Big love,


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