You can brand me a conservative, for I am no advocate for accessories of any sort that could carry a permanent scar or damage to the human body. Tattoo and piercing, other than of the ears, are considered wild antics and cosmetic surgeries are absolute no-no. I simply cannot understand anyone paying to have himself mutilated. What will the mother who suffers to bring the child into this world thinks? That her baby has grown up and decided suddenly that his body is not perfect enough? What is the price of it all? These questions and more were on my mind when a lady talked about her daughter during a recent Defence Management Group Toastmasters chapter meeting. For your information, a chapter meeting (a great platform for those who have a zeal for life and an appetite for public speaking) has a “Table topic” segment where all are welcomed to speak on a topic specified by a designated Toastmaster.
The lady, a first time visitor to our club, holding a magazine cut-out of a woman with hair dyed red, spoke of her child who is in her early 20s studying overseas. Apparently, not under any peer pressure, the junior had decided to have her nose pierced when she was in secondary school. And by the time she went overseas, she already has two tattoos large enough to cover her whole back (can you imagine the hours of pain she had to bear for someone so young?). Anyway, I was inquisitive about the hidden mentality of such a self-indulging youth, if I may say so. I may be sceptical here, but what is next? A nose job? Especially when the lady, other than accepting the situation, expressed nothing more than a little “shyness” when walking beside the child on the street.
The opportunity to know more fell on my lap during the break as, in any chapter meetings, words and opinions flowed freely. I found myself engaged with the kind lady and her companion in a conversation surrounding her speech. As the saying “Two heads is better than one” goes, or “three heads” in our case, we concluded to our satisfaction that to make a decision of that magnitude actually takes a lot of courage. Considering, in addition to how others like me would perceive her, she would have to explain to her offspring when motherhood comes calling. Alas! There are moments in life when you feel you should have said or done something, but never did. And I think that the lady should be very proud indeed of her child. But then again, she most probably already felt so, although a little reminder won’t hurt.
What I have learnt: Take ownership of yourselves. Be responsible for your body, your actions and your life. After all, the greatest gift that you can give to your parents is by having a fulfilled life.