I want to make a selection of videos about symbolism, wherever that's...whatever your religion may be or if you don't have a religion. For some of you, it may be the star of David, for some of you, it may be a cross, whatever it is. We've all got symbols and symbols mean so much for us in our lives.
Sometimes those symbols can weaken us though, and sometimes they can lift us up and empower us. And I want to share a few personal symbols that I have on my person permanently inked if you will, and I'm going to tell you a story, and it's really about what these symbols meant to me, why they are inked on my body, and how they empower me. See, symbols can be things you wear around your neck because of your religion or lack of thereof, and they can also be things that you carry around with you. And it can also be rings, jewelry, anything like this.
I'm going to share with you tattoos which are a big passion of mine and really committing, I guess, if you will, to the belief system behind each of these symbols. And I want to share, like I said, a story of my tattoos in each of these videos to tell you about what they mean to me and why I've got them permanently inked on my body, and to share that with you is an indication to empower you. Because I often think how there are a lot of people, actually, I should not say a lot, some people go about and they'll get all kinds of tattoos, and they won't have much emotional reason for them. They'll just kind of look okay, but it won't have any real deep significance for that person. It might just be, why I saw I saw that famous actor or actress with that tattoo, or all that beautiful man or handsome woman walking down the street and they looked really good with it, so I should get that tattoo. Now, I'm talking about when people put some mental thought into it, and so most it's an emotion and some heart as to what those symbols mean and can empower you.
Now, I'll start off with my first tattoos, and I knew that when I broke that proverbial glass, the emergency alarm, that emergency glass on getting tattoos, I wouldn't be able to stop. Once that dam had broke, there was no way for me to stop it. So, I waited until I was 37 years of age to get my first tattoo, so and that was about seven, eight, nine months ago. Since then I have gotten four, and I plan on getting far more.
Now, my first tattoo is I want to show you...I'm going to move a little closer to the tattoo. If you notice, there are a couple of Xs. And what they symbolize to me is...and this is my own belief system, and you don't have to subscribe to it because this isn't about you subscribing to my beliefs, it's about simply talking about symbols and how powerful they are our life. And what these Xs mean to me is they're a universal symbol for straight edge. I don't know how many of you know what straight edge is, but straight edge was a movement that was brought about, I guess in the early to mid-'90s, and it comes from punk music.
And what would happen is youngsters below the legal drinking age of 16 or 18 depending on where in the world you are, would go to these punk concerts. They were allowed to enter, but they would sell liquor, they would sell alcohol at these concerts. And obviously, the venue didn't want to be shut down by accidentally selling alcohol to a minor. So, what they would do is as the youngster would come in, they would simply draw an X on the back of their hand. And what the X would symbolize is that person, do not serve them alcohol.
So it then became a whole punk revolution of straight edge where it was hardcore punk music and the movement, but with no alcohol, with no drugs, with no tobacco, with no gambling, with no prostitution. I got hardcore music like punk but with all of those negative stereotypes taken out of there. And it's about living a pure life where you could really enjoy all of those things, but you wouldn't need to engage in drugs, in alcohol, in smoking cigarettes, in gambling, or even prostitution. You could simply enjoy what you enjoy, but wouldn't need to be influenced by other people to do things that were maybe not right for you and perhaps to go against the grain in society. It spanned a whole movement called straight edge.
I'm also a big wrestling fan, and one of my favorite wrestlers of all time is a guy called CM Punk who no longer wrestles. And he was a guy that came into wrestling and he did not have the right look. He was not 300 pounds of chiseled muscle, he was just a punk looking guy with a lot of tattoos but was amazing on the microphone and amazing in the ring, but he did not fit the stereotype of what the promoters thought a successful wrestler, a fearsome wrestler is supposed to look at. And his message was always about living that clean lifestyle.
See I was straight edge before I even knew straight edge what it was, and it wasn't 'til CM Punk came along about 10, 11 years ago for me when I became aware of it, that I'm like, "Wow, straight edge, I've been living this movement for like my whole life, I didn't realize it was a name or didn't realize there was people like me out there."
So, that's the story behind the X, and it empowers me to remember it's okay to go against the grain, it's okay to watch where everyone else goes and to go in the opposite direction. It's okay to be an individual, it's okay to think for yourself, to not be influenced or brainwashed by the media or other people. It's okay to be an individual and do things that are right for you, to live your life for you, to be empowered that you are enough. So, that's the story of the X.
There'll be more videos coming up in this collection, but thank you for watching and just think about what symbols do you have in your life or would you like to accumulate, whether you ink them on you or you have some kind of symbol that you carry around with you that can empower you to remember who you are, to go back to your source.
Always Believe. Luke Michael Howard PhD