Friday, December 23, 2005

A Tattoo Worth Getting?

I must confess that, for some time I've thought about getting a tattoo. I like the idea of it, but what to get? I wanted to get something that would mean something to me for the rest of my life, so things like band names, or things that related to my life as it was right now, they were all out of the question. Most spiritual tattoos are sort of cliched, so I didn't want a crucifix (a symbol the early church didn't use anyway) or something of that sort. I've seen some cool creative variations on it (yes, I'm talking about you, Deb), but couldn't come up with any myself. Anyway, I think I found something that has deep spiritual and social meaning to me:


It's a Zulu word that doesn't translate easily but it means something like, "I am because we are." It's a word I learned through reading about Desmond Tutu. Ubuntu captures something that no one word in English does. Though Ubuntu doesn't exist in English, I think it's an imperative concept. I have never seen it tattooed, but the more I think about it, the more I feel like it really is an idea that I might want to carry around on my skin all my life.