When I was about 17 years old, I mentioned to my mom that I was considering getting a tattoo. As soon as the words left my mouth, Mother started her verbal beat-down and didn’t let up for like an hour. Her message lives in my memory forever, and went something like this:
“Of all the things in the world to think about, from art, to science, to world peace, is that the best you can do? You don’t have anything more constructive to do with your time, your mind, or your money? You’re sitting there thinking about a tattoo as if that’s important. That’s what you want? There are people in this world with real problems. Like not having enough food or water. The world needs solutions, but you’re sitting there thinking about permanently marking up your body? Is that all you got?”There were no volume control options and I had no place to run for silence. I was a captive audience. And even if I could get away, we had a no-door-slamming policy in our home. Today I’m grateful that the crux of mother’s sermon was about my mindset and not about tattoos or what other people would think of me or of my ink. Her lecture, as annoying as it was, was all about mindset. It left its mark on me … kinda, sorta like a tattoo.