38. Unrecognized Rise of Egotism Caused by Permanent Tattoos
In our modern world, an uptick in egotism can be difficult to recognize: about a week after having spoken to the Chief and Patricia, I had a long meeting about the Virgin Mary’s message with the college’s wonderfully spiritual and intelligent Dean of Education, Lynn DeCapua. During our talk, I relayed to her the following: on campus, only a short time before our then meeting, I had gotten into a conversation with a pair of passing students about the very noticeable tattoos on the chest of one of the two, who was wearing a loose, sleeveless T-shirt. Actually, it was I who somewhat rushed down a path to speak to them because, as they were passing, I happened to have been writing, on my laptop, about the Biblical perspective on tattoos!
Going over to the young men, I confirmed that they were students at the Catholic college. Then, I asked if it would be okay to have a potentially very personal conversation. With some hesitation, they agreed; and, then, I questioned if they knew that the Bible prohibits permanent tattoos (Lev. 19:28). They did not know. Continuing, I asked whether they were aware that crucifying one’s ego is a manner by which one becomes unified with Christ (Gal. 2:20). Because they did not know what I meant by this, I simplified my method of questioning to the following:
1. After mentioning to them these obvious, two points—both that the decision to get a permanent tattoo is a matter (generally) taken very seriously and that the chosen tattoo image reflects what the wearer finds important enough to display enduringly—I asked if they agreed that someone’s ego would likely increase were such a someone to get an indelible tattoo. Immediately they agreed. That is, they intuitively thought that a permanent tattoo solidified the ego.
2. Then, I asked if they recognized that Jesus was crucified not because he did any wrong. Rather, he was crucified because egotistical people did not want to be told the right thing to do. They concurred to that as well.
3. They, too, agreed that Jesus has the truth and that the more egotistical is a person, the less such a person may want to listen to the truth whenever the truth were to criticize the egotist’s behavior.
4. Furthermore, they agreed that ego keeps people away from Jesus—who, by his revelation of the truth, comes to judge in order to guide the world into the right behavior.
5. Therefore, I concluded, for these reasons (and others), the Bible does not allow permanent tattoos.
Thank God, both of them had a sufficient humility and a love of Christ to appreciate my advice! Then, at our conversation’s end, I gracefully relayed that henna tattoos—which, if done right, are safe, painless, and temporary—are the Biblical way to go if someone feels a need to ink him- or herself.
This above account was relayed to the Dean of Education because permanent tattoos are, tragically, becoming rampant. Further, the obvious-once-recognized fact that tattoos increase the ego is not yet commonly recognized. And, since egotism was the culprit in the crucifixion, a Christian, to be devout, must check his or her ego. Meaning, if such a tattoos-increase-the-ego fact is not known even at a Catholic college meant to promote the Bible—Oye!
Because egotism negates love, lasting tattoos, a form of egotistical self-absorption, reduce love. Moreover, such tattoos are, surely, a form of idol worship since the tattoo wearer finds such an image important enough to bear for the rest of his or her life. Hence, and worse than egotistical, permanent tattoos can imply narcissism—and narcissists can neither give nor receive true love!
Indelible tattoos are, too, painful. Therefore, in the way that one gradually becomes accustomed to affliction so to less notice it, those who suffer permanent tattoos desensitize themselves to a degree. As this, in another manner, pertains to love, tattoos inhibit love because love, in no small part, is based on sensitivity.
Actually, the desensitization that results from painful-to-apply, unfading tattoos could interfere with job function! Recently, I was escorting someone to the hospital. When there, I got into a conversation with a male EMT. He, who had noticeable tattoos, told me that he sometimes got attacked by those that he helped. To his comment, I wondered to what extent did his tattoos acerbate, or even incite, such attacks.
Of course, EMT’s without tattoos get attacked by patients (or by family members of such patients) who either do not want the help or do not want the EMT help as provided. Nonetheless, I wondered what share of the attacks by patients against that particular EMT was fueled by any insensitivity that that he had instilled into himself via his plethora of tattoos. It seemed to me that he, surely, got attacked more than he would have been attacked had he had no tattoos. I so thought because any insensitivity that he had, via the painful tattoos, created in his psychology would play itself out in all aspects of his life, including in his patient care. And, when dealing with an on-edge patient, the more insensitivity in an EMT must equate with a greater likelihood that such an EMT will be attacked. (Further, as tattoos solidify the ego and egotism breeds conflict, EMT’s with tats can be endangering themselves and others from this other angle.)
Crucial note: a frightening-to-behold tattoo, merely from its visual appearance, might trigger a patient attack were such a patient, for some reason, paranoid.