We Are All Tattooed …

We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. – Oliver Wendell Holmes

Tattoed? Yes – an indelible mark. Where we begin our lives – how we begin our lives – stays with us forever. It is integrated into our internal framework. Our default system for understanding our world. Who gathers around us? What is our given name? Are we cuddled? What music surrounds us? Do I smell coffee? Smoke? Curry? Does everyone talk at once? What do we talk about – sports? Politics? The arts? Are we baptized and go to religious services often? Do we have dress-up clothes even as a baby? Our first solid food?

We grow up and may move far from home. We can follow a new religious practice. We can be upwardly mobile. But, those early ways will revisit us. If we were raised in a formal environment, we may always struggle with enjoying finger food. Overheard biases will spill into simple conversations – and surprise us all. Comfort will come with a sound or a pattern or a smell.

We are born belonging. We experience the embrace of our faith or ethnic communities. We can branch off in different directions, but those roots keep us connected to our ‘home team.’ They are an indelible part of who we are.

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