I have traveled to many different countries throughout the world. I’ve seen a lot of different living conditions and lifestyles. But recently I entered a whole new world just ten minutes away from my home.

I wasn’t planning on entering. My plan was to drop him off and wait in the car. He said it was only going to be a quick touch up.

So, I waited. And waited, and waited… it was obviously taking longer than expected, and I was getting tired of waiting in the car. Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore. I decided to brave it and go inside.

And so for the first time in my life…I walked into a Tattoo and Piercing Parlor!

Call me naïve or sheltered but I’ve just never had a desire or reason to enter one before.

But, when I opened that door and entered that foreign world to me… my eyes and heart opened too!

I saw some amazing art work everywhere. Some were not to my personal liking but others were quite intricate and captivating. The art work wasn’t just on the walls and in pages of notebooks to flip through but it was all over the bodies of those who worked there as well. They literally wore their craft.

I saw photos of loving families, proud fathers and mothers displaying trophies, ribbons, certificates and all kinds of mementos honoring their children and the life and family they so clearly loved. The things they chose to show in their little work space areas were no different than those I’ve seen pinned and posted in the work spaces and offices of cooperate business people.

In that moment it hit me…

Everyone, everywhere, be it in corporate America, the jungles of Africa, the ocean shores of New Zealand, the deserts of Iran or the small tattoo parlors spread throughout the world, is simply trying to do their best, as they know how, in this life to honor and love to protect and provide for their loved ones and to make their own mark in the world.

We all have an important role to play in this world. Be it a drama, comedy, horror, romance or amazing action adventure story…our life and the life of every character in this world matters.

So why do we often spend time and energy in judging and criticizing those that look, think, act and choose differently than we do? Why do we think less of any of our fellow playmates in this act of life portrayed on the grand stage of the world? Why would we put down another human being who is simply trying to play their part and make their contribution the best they know how with whatever props and prompts they’ve been given to work with?

This includes ourselves as well. Why do we criticize, judge and compare ourselves to others or to who we used to be or hope to be but aren’t? The role that we play as individuals and how we choose to play that role, has an impact not only on those in our own little world at home and with our own little audience in our circle of family and friends, but on the bigger grander world and audience as well.

Be it a multi-millionaire, a blue collar worker, a famous actor or sports star, a politician, a musician, a news reporter, author, artist, or a scared lonely refugee, we all have our part to play and each and every part is important.

What a whole new world it would be if each and every one of us were truly able to see everyone else as equally important people with a valuable role to play! What if instead of making judgements we tried to get to know and understand others? What if we didn’t criticize others and instead tried to make connections and find common ground? And what if we replaced fear with love?

If I can enter into what I thought would be a scary new world of a tattoo parlor and come out feeling peace, respect and love then I can surely enter into the worries, beliefs and judgements of my own mind and heart and come out feeling peaceful, grateful, empowered and full of love for myself and for all human beings.

So be it on Facebook, Twitter, or TV or in the isolated walls of our own home or even the silent thoughts of our own minds…let us all decide to get up and bravely enter into the creation of this whole new world. Let’s start with ourselves and with our families and homes. Let’s find and honor, love, and celebrate our successes, display our ribbons and trophies and photos for others to see and share in. Let’s encourage, uplift, support and inspire others to do the same. Let’s choose understanding, make connections, and let go of fear. Open our hearts, our minds and our eyes to love. One step, one voice, one thought, one movement at a time…towards love and acceptance and we can create a whole new world!




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