How to Be Smart in a World Full of Dumb Tattooed People

Photo Credit – Flickr: Nina Matthews PhotographyThey’re so gross, aren’t they?

I don’t know the exact group of people you have beef with, but I’m sure you have beef. Humans love disliking other groups of people because we love to blame everything that is wrong on someone or something else.

Our perceptions of what is wrong are innately external. You would prefer a situation to be different, but it’s not, so your human instinct decides to be pissed off about it.

Unfortunately, facts aren’t going to magically change just because you don’t like them, and excessive lamenting is a waste of energy.

Let’s focus on energy for a minute.

We all want more energy—especially in a society where “tired” and “busy” are common, acceptable, and often preferred responses to the question “how are you?”

Everyone has important tasks to accomplish and feels there is never enough time to get it all done. Energy helps us execute our to-do lists.

So, why do we waste so much energy “liking” and “disliking?”

Our preferences drain our energy more than they contribute to productivity.

If you want to utilize your preference energy for your benefit, explore the reasoning behind your opinions and dissect your judgments.

What circumstances and influences have caused you to form a certain opinion? How did you arrive at your conclusion? Is your behavior or personal philosophy radically different from what you don’t like?

For example, if you have no interest in tattoos, or even strongly dislike tattoos, learning about tattoo philosophy may seem pointless. You can write it off as stupid, unwise, a waste of time—whatever you like.

Understanding another point of view doesn’t require you to agree or participate, but it does make you use your mind in a different way.

It’s easy to go along with what you like. It’s difficult to accept the things you don’t.

Since the things you don’t like are just as real—they exist just the same—what do you do about them?

Learning from what you don’t understand or don’t like is an opportunity to change your perspective instead of remaining in a limited state. If you end up finding value once you investigate a different outlook, you may—gasp—stop being pissed off about it because the information you learn brings you a sense of peace or knowledge.

Conversely, learning about something unfamiliar because it intrigues you can also be disappointing. Exotic things often turn out to be a lot more boring than how we imagine them.

Regardless of the outcome, a deeper examination of an alternative position can teach you unexpected or more comprehensive lessons that you can use in future assessments.

In terms of art philosophy, people now have a variety of platforms to express themselves publicly with their preferred methods of communication: photos (Instagram), videos (Vine), writing (Twitter), mixed media (Tumblr), etc.

If everyone is an artist, though, then no one is an artist.

How do we make the distinction, and can an examination of only traditional art forms answer the question completely?

Do we need to look at a wide range of artistic practices to truly understand objects that fall under the category of “art?”

To learn about what tattoos can teach us about art and writing, download The Philosophical Functionality of the Tattoo: A Philosophy of Art for free.

The Philosophical Functionality of the Tattoo: A Philosophy of ArtStefanie Flaxman is the creator of @RevisionFairy and author of a new book about heartbreak.

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