Hello and welcome to the new blog. Thank you for taking the time to read the original content which will be discussed and posted in this space. The blog posts in this space will cover a wide range of topics largely surrounding tattooing and its history, but also the relationship between modern creative people and current events.
In this post the topic of discussion will be dedication and commitment in the modern era.
Let us begin.
In today's world, when the words dedication and commitment are spoken of in a public arena in the west, commonly those words become related to brand association. The loyalty to a line of products, or say perhaps a sports team: team red, team blue etcetera. Following the principles of commitment and dedication that we are taught by society, should we show these attributes to entities which do not return that dedication and commitment to us? How often is it that a corporation or a public entity conducts itself in such a way that the will of their loyal patrons is discarded for the pursuit of something which is only beneficial to its board members? An entity that discards the well being of the body they are responsible for in order to further their own small goals.
When we consider what kind of world we wish to live within, we must ask ourselves: are we curating a world which we can be proud of? A world which we would be proud to pass on to those that come after us? Why is it that these attributes of dedication and commitment inspire feelings of value within us?
What I perceive as the source of these values is that dedication and commitment provide a world of security, a world in which one can feel the contentment that leads to true spiritual satisfaction. When we talk of spiritual satisfaction we conjure images of enlightenment, say sitting in a lotus with no need for this mortal realm. However, when I picture spiritual satisfaction I envision a reality where instead of an escape of this mortal realm, there is a heightened appreciation of reality itself. Yet how does one come to appreciate a reality in which they are not contentment with their surroundings? How does one find that contentment which brings spiritual peace?
From what I understand as a single individual, contentment is not a state of achievement which is gained and then freely held forever. Rather it is a development of a mental state where there is constant labour in which you love what you do and take a sense of honor and pride in that labour. To me, this is dedication and commitment. When you show yourself that you are willing to express dedication and commitment in your own life towards yourself then you will be able to find the satisfaction with which you seek.
When these principles are applied to the craft of tattooing, tattoos are not viewed as a temporary means to achieve a momentary satisfaction. Rather they are a step on a journey towards an achievement of personal peace, a dedication to oneself to build a world within which one is proud of the labor which has changed their existence. Wearing tattoos may be seen like a means to surround oneself with a visible cloak that proves one’s willingness to endure the labors of life. The pain endured, the dedication to the process, the trust given in the tattoist and the permanent nature of tattoos can easily give one the euphoric feeling feeling of participating in something great: altering’s one’s body in this way gives a total sense of self determination that empowers the wearer of tattoos.
Through this mindset, the ethic of the “overall composition” becomes of a heightened value. A tattoo is not simply an addition to an area of your body, it is something which affects the entire balance of your overall being. Often, this means that the tattoos which one adorns themselves with, should be thought of as a component of an overall work of art. In order to achieve such an overall balance, one must not only outwardly practice commitment and dedication in their lives, but also inwardly commit themselves to endure the pain of the process, the dedication to climbing that mountain and to pass onto something great.
Although our tattoos may only be with us until we pass, the impressions that we leave throughout our lives leave ripples that change the course of future generations forever. Let them admire what we have endured. Let us practice commitment and dedication so that we may pass on a better world with greater heights of achievement available to them, so that they may do the same for those that come after them.