Most of us have a yearning to be our own unique person---different from others in an acceptably interesting way.
Of course, there is always a peer group at work, telling us that we should conform to its standards of the day. The peer group begins to exert its pull on us at an early age, when we are urged to behave and dress and think a certain way. The peer group exerts more and more influence as we age---until, that is---most of us get old enough to be tired of the games and the control, and we say "to hell with what others think."
But, I digress.
What got me to thinkin' about all this is the current rage of tatoos. When I was growing up, there were two types of people who got tatoos---sailors and people with rather low intelligence quotients.
After all, my mom told me that you couldn't undo a tatoo; and what might seem like a good idea today might look just the opposite in a few years. That made sense to me then, and it still does.
But tatoos are everywhere today. They have definitely gone mainstream. And more than that, there are so many folks walking around with multiple tatoos. They got 'em on their arms, legs, chests, backs, necks, faces, and even other places.
I have to shake my head and ask "Why?"
Is it a cry for attention? Is it a submission to the peer group?---an attempt to "fit in" with the crowd? An appeal to be accepted?
I am reminded of the old John Hartford song, "Natural to be Gone", in which he poses the question, "What's the difference being different when it's difference now that looks alike?....." Ha. That about nails it, doesn't it? If everyone has tatoos, all of a sudden having a tatoo is not different, but the same. And all of a sudden it's guys like me who are different because we DON'T have tatoos. This is delicious.
Motorcycles are another one---used to be that if you rode a chopper, you were a wild thing. My momma told me to avoid guys who rode motorcycles because they had a bad reputation. There were stories about Hell's Angels and lawlessness and raping and killing and so on.
But now, motorcycles are everywhere. Motorcycles aren't different anymore. If you wanna be different as man, DON'T get a chopper. Ha.
Let the comments, especially differences of opinion, begin!