This, here, is my right foot.
The one-and-only tattoo I have is on this foot. Before getting this tattoo, I used a sharpie marker and drew it on every day for a month, just to make sure I wanted it. And boy, did I want this one. And even now, after 10 years, it means more to me every day than it did the last.
This word “kon” in Arabic means “be”. At the time I had been reading all about certain experiments in Japan that indicated that the energy of a word could visibly transform the molecular structure of water, so I decided to get a word tattooed on my body to support my overall growth and development (I mean, our body is overall 60% water and our brain and heart are 73% water!). I kept thinking of words, and at the time I was really focused on understanding and upholding justice in my life, so initially I was going to get that on my foot. But then I thought, “is this really the attribute I’m going to want to work on in 10 years?” Well, it’s 10 years later and I’m glad I went a different direction.
Ultimately I decided on “be”, thinking I could mentally insert whatever attribute I was focused on at any given moment: “be just” or “be joyful”. Only after I got the tattoo did I learn that in Persian the same word “kon” means “do”. I thought this was pretty darn cool back then, but today it is my favorite thing about my tattoo.
This one word, in two languages, means both “be” and “do”. This is what I am striving to live into at this moment in my life, being myself through doing the things that remind me of who I am.
The whole being and doing thing is so fascinating to me. This symbiotic relationship is called our “two-fold moral purpose”, and essentially it states that the individual and society develop together. I, as an individual, cannot develop my character and capacity without being of service to my community. AND the community cannot develop its character and capacity unless individuals are being of service to it and supported by it. So if I want to “be” my best self I have to “do” what I can for my community.
It’s truly incredible if you think about it. The lessons I keep learning from this one little tattoo.
Originally published at www.thrubeauty.com.