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Teaching the world how to treat others
Topic Rating: +4 (4 votes) 
May 22, 2012
9:21 am
Kevin_cook
Colorado
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I have often been asked by friends / family / strangers … why I have modified myself

 

I first reply that I do it because I find it attractive and want to experience what is is like to have such a mod … After which I have been asked … if this is so .. why did you choose what you did and not some other modification … This is when it gets into the realm of spirituality … I never really make hard conscious choices as to my modifications … as some would say .. the Spirit lead me … But … I digress 

 

In actuality … my reasons for … as some of my friends say 'looking weird' … is that I feel it is my mission on this earth to teach others how to be tolerant (in my belief system .. let others see Jesus in you)

 

An example that immediately comes to mind where I think I succeeded was …

 

When I have to goto Wal-Mart (a large US based department store) … I go very early … I was on the aisle where the cleaning products are located .. I saw an elderly woman trying to reach something that was just out of her reach … I approached and asked if I could assist her (no small feat as I am only 5ft 2in tall) … upon noticing my eclectic appearance she was almost stunned .. but stepped back so that I could reach the item that she was seeking … By the time I had taken the item and placed it in her cart (trolly for those UK members out there) .. she had recovered her composure … and we chatted for a few minutes … after which she asked if she could take a picture of me for her grandkids (so I may be one of the People of Walmart) …

 

The point I am making is … many people assume that because we are different in appearance from them .. that we are evil / undesirable … So … IMO … we need to teach them how to treat those different from themselves … Thoughts?

- Kevin Cook Proudly modified since 1983
May 22, 2012
1:43 pm
SasQuatch9585
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I also feel that it's my purpose to teach others to be tolerant.

In some cases I have been successful at doing so, and in others I have not. I would say that most of the time my inability to pierce through someone's prejudice is because of their own inability to open their mind, but I would be lying if I said I have never given up on someone and just walked away.

I see that lack of patience as a personal failing, and I hope to never repeat it.  There is no shortage of people who will go out of their way to harm or hinder you if they believe you are an evil person, regardless of the fact that they have no proof.

So, it is important to me to keep trying for as long as I have the opportunity to try.  Giving up does nothing to help open their mind.  It probably makes me seem a bit arrogant, as if their opinion isn't worth my time.

So, here's one cool story where I succeeded a little in this effort.

I was at a mall one day and a young man walked by with an acoustic guitar in a case.  I stopped him and asked what brand it was.

He said it was a Taylor, my absolute favorite brand of acoustic guitars.  So, I asked if he would mind if I played it a little because I love Taylor guitars so much.

He said it was okay, so I started playing a NOFX song called Scavenger Type.

After I finished the song a dark-haired woman began condemning me for playing the song in front of children.  She had picked out a few words like "penetrates" and "bones"  and "horn" and thought the song was about sex.

Turns out this lady was an English major, so I asked her to analyze the lyrics the way she would analyze a poem.

It's a short song, so here they are:

   Giggin' alone at the bottom of the hill, our protagonist named Bill

   Sets his sights on an Anchor Steam pint

   All he needs is 13 quarters congregated in his hat

 

   A crow, a scavenger type, California redemption

   Provides him with his rent room and board inside of

   A fifth of Comfort

 

   As the wind penetrates his bones, his mind keeps focused

   Tidal waves of sound catapulted from his horn

   Whale like lovers

 

   The coins don't drop consistent as does the mercury

   His meter slows realizing a zenith, he's reached perfection

   No one did see him die

  

So, clearly the song is not about sex.  Once I got her to understand that I told her I hoped that she'd learned something from the experience (sort of an arrogant thing to say, and I regret that part of the story).

She asked what she was supposed to learn, so I pointed out that she had taken one look at me, taken a few words entirely out of context, and judged me based only on that.  "Don't judge a book by it's cover," essentially.

She apologized and I told her it was all good.  Happy ending.  Hooray!

Sometimes I wonder if I can say anything in less than a hundred words.
May 22, 2012
4:06 pm
vampyremage
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I want to say that this is a fantastic topic for a thread. 

 

I do not take any personal responsibility in teaching tolerance to others.  I take responsibility for my own actions and how I present myself to others.  If I am to teach anything, it is by example.  I live the sort of life I want to live and project the sort of image onto others that I want to project.  The only way in which I teach, is in how I interact with others, showing as much respect as I can to those who have not given me a reason to do otherwise.  I try to conduct myself with integrity at all times, living by the moral code that I have chosen to adopt.

 

I do not, however, take any responsibility for teaching others.  I do not feel it is my duty to try to teach anyone who does not directly ask to be taught.  If someone is going to live a life of intolerance and I have no connection to them, I do not take it upon myself to try and change their actions.  Each individual is responsible for their own actions in the world and the consequences of those actions and I do not feel it my duty to try and change those actions unless specifically asked of me.

 

Any teaching I do is passive by the way in which I carry myself in the world.  I am free with voicing my opinions and stating whether or not I believe an individual is wrong and why but, in the end, their life is their own and I do not feel as if I owe it to them, to myself or to anyone else to try and change their life if they don't want a change to occur.

July 12, 2012
3:09 pm
Bonestrippers
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I agree, this is a great topic.

26 years I have pointed, laughed, shunned at for my beliefs is piercing and tattooing. As I walk through this life I am still learning and obseriving people and there behaviors. I realized early on when someone asks you why, and you respond to them by saying I don't know, it gives the inquisitor a bad taste in their mouth and it leaves them to think that you are strange and a reject of society. THEY ASSUME!  However when you kindly respond in a respective demeanor, the inquisitor recognizes the validity in what you believe in and how you practice.  They may not agree and that's ok, the purpose was to enlighten them to introduce another form of spirituality. Being open and having intelligent discussions is the right step towards the greater good, and by being tolerant of their beliefs will hopefully ingnite a mutual understanding.

July 12, 2012
9:24 pm
ColaChampagne
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I used to be like that. I wanted to "save humanity from its own ignorance".

but then I realized that most of this society is a bunch of sheep run by a big fat rich shepherd, who have been literally programmed to think a certain by tools such as the entertainment industry. They have no thoughts of their own and I think they are incapable of thinking for themselves, and no matter how much sense one makes when ti comes to combating their ignorance, it don't matter because these sheep don't know how to learn. It's their way, or it wrong, no matter how outstandingly wrong they are. If it's not my body modifications, then it's the color of my skin, or hell both. I could speak till I'm blue in the face, no one would care. So for me, I'll enhance my body the way I want, and nobody can tell me nothing about it. Despite my attitude about humanity, I'm a pretty cheerful person in public and when I interact with people, so if people can learn how stop being an ignorant sheep based on their interaction with me and their constant observation of me which I couldn't care less about, then hip hip hooray.And if people want to come up to me with their interest in my mods, then depending on their attitude, I'll give them a response they deserve.

I have no time to address the animosities of random ignoramuses, because how I choose to represent my body to the world, then can go to the slaughter, with the rest of the sheep, while I watch from the sidelines. I'm done caring about the opinions of others and making attempts to change them. lol

We are all born a blank canvas, physically and mentally, It is up to us to decorate our mind and body.
July 13, 2012
7:29 am
Kevin_cook
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This (ColaChampagne) brings up a good point … Caring

 

In my opinion we should not care what they think as that could damage our inner self … but we should try to … when possible … present a image / attitude that will challenge their 'world view' of modded people

- Kevin Cook Proudly modified since 1983
July 14, 2012
4:10 am
Oakbear
UK
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I think that raises a valid question – why should we try and present a positive view to non modified people?

I certainly do, it's very important to me to offer others the chance to reconsider and prejudice they may have. If they elect not to i'm fine with that, but i do derive pleasure from challenging assumptions.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
July 14, 2012
10:07 am
Sommersett
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I care because it should be a NON-issue for all people.  I guess NOT caring would be teaching by example, so for that I say kudos ColaChampagne.  I was just faced with this issue in a very big way over the past few days.  I went to a "old counselors get-a-way" at a 180 acre camp I was a counselor at in college.  At the time of counseling in 1995-1997 my ears were around 1/2 inch and they asked me to only wear wood… any type was fine.  Male and female counselors were also asked to cover their nipple jewelry by wearing shirts.  When I go back to camp for (non-paid) cleaning weekends or sleeping under the stars with my old friends, I am asked NOT to go to main camp and NOT to interact with campers.  Other peers there with me are sent to main camp for supplies, but I am told to stay at the gorge.  Part of me doesn't care because the gorge is the best place to be, but I have been told STRAIGHT TO MY FACE it is because of my mods.  It makes me feel some type of way.  Everyone is really nice to me… almost too nice if that's possible… like I'm a precious exotic flower.  It makes me feel like an orchid growing on the side of a trash heap dumpster in Japan.  It totally shouldn't matter how many tattoos or brands or piercings I have because I KNOW I am the most experienced at cooking on an open fire, and even tending (building, lighting, extinguishing) so they send current counselors to interact and learn from me, and they interface with the little ones.  I have also been told to NOT answer questions about body mods, and I do not obey that request.  I do try not to let the topic become all about body art because that's not what I'm there for…. OR MAYBE IT IS?  Anyway, I care because I feel persecuted by society in general, and to matriculate just makes average people MORE intimidated…. which is BOGUS!!!  I am so thankful for my friends and family and I don't want other stranger's opinions of me to hurt them.  I know how to deal with it because I have experience, but I can tell it makes people around me uncomfortable…. and there is little to nothing I can do about it.

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
July 14, 2012
11:26 am
Sommersett
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Also, although I am generally really patient and kind, I occasionally utilize my mods as the external armour which they have become.  I get so tired of the constant questions that I am just crass and even bitchy from time to time.  It's rude when random strangers take pictures of me without asking and I don't like to interrupted while I'm eating.  Other times include while I'm putting my kids in their carseats…. I usually just try to say, "now is not a good time to chat with me," but other times I'm just like, "fuck off" or "get away from me" or "look it up."  I'm really just trying to self protect.  Is anyone else like this?   

Everyone has something to say about the Mona Lisa until you're standing in front of it speechless.
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