Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Your Gang, my clique, your set...

I have been alarmed, bemused and a little caught a little off guard by the actions of some friends, I won't mention who, but it seems that a need to belong has taken up residence in their psyche, and though I know it's common, I don't get it.
As a tattooer, I have spent a lot of my time convincing people to do things that are tailor made for them, individual, something unique, as unique as they themselves are. I do need to now say that just because you chose not to do so does not lessen you or your experience, I just felt that when the time came for something as exciting as getting tattooed, you might want to consider something all your own, something that spoke of your individuality as a person.
This in time unfortunately, early on in my career been misinterpreted as me being exclusive and given rise to rumor that I'm a self entitled ass, and in now what is a very competitive industry, I can see how this is easily believed by those that have chosen not to do justice to what it takes to be a tattooer, and is used to justify their choosing to undermine the almost 30 years I have given to this craft, but I have digressed and this is not about me so I will apologies for that, but not retract it.
I guess we all times feel that need to belong, but when belonging is misguided and often leads to disaster how can this need still prevail over good sense? History is riddled with the corpses of those needing to belong to one group or another, from master races to poisened cool aid and jihad, I wonder what is missing within us that we are incomplete without belonging?
Don't misconstrue social groupings, inclusive without prejudice, these do not enter into what I am talking about, but they can be breeding grounds for exclusionary thinking and this is what I am getting at. When belonging becomes a breeding ground for the exclusive thinking that breeds contempt and prejudice against those not in the group, it becomes a home for the worst in exclusionary thinking, thinking that gave fuel to the crusades and nazi's, now I see you recoil at the mention of those two institutions in the same sentence, and thats the crux of it, where is the line of a good and bad grouping, lets be clear that those aforementioned were both bad. I am revolted by that kind of thinking because, groups give fearful, ugly cowardly individuals a place to hide, and it gives them a safe place to sew the ugliness inside them, they are a breeding grounds for hate, and hate is the death of knowledge and intellect.
So what does it say about the groups and cliques you find yourself draw to?? Perhaps you should stop and ask yourself a few questions, and answer those honestly to yourself, don't hide behind fear, anger or hate, be honest with yourself and deal with those answers like the intelligent human being you are. Feel, be moral and honest and once answered, answer a final question. Do you need to belong with them, or are you enough for you?
It's taken a long time to look into a mirror and like what I see, hey not always, no one is that happy with themselves, but I feel like I like the person I am, and those that have gotten to know me, and I mean taken the time to really know me, my craziness, humor and cynicism all wrapped in this misguided probing mind, will probably agree. I like the way I live, hell I wish I was more financially stable, but I think we all wish we were no matter how well off we are, but I am very grateful that I sleep warm at night with a roof over my head as many don't. I love my chosen path, and though it's not like others expect it to be it is a path less travelled hence not very well marked and with many dead ends but it's choosing has been mine and I have taken responsibility for that.
So build your set, your clique, but know that many see through you, and the time for fear and loathing, whether in Vegas or wherever you are, is over and your ugliness is plain for us to see.

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