I met these three young boys as I ascended the slope home. They qualified for the age of 8 and 9 years, well by first glance but they could be older. One had his shirt sleeve folded upwards revealing a scar of sorts. Another was saying how he would never do that to himself. I found myself interested in their conversation so I slowed my pace and asked them what the scar was all about. The one with the scar went on to lively explain how he got it; it is a tattoo he made using a stick! The other added how it could also be done using a compass.
I was somewhat surprised but then remembered how at the same age, even girls bared their softer flesh to get the so desired tattoos, some of the boys’ names that they fancied! Oh, how we grow up! Or do we? So I ask these young yet macho boys if they share their tools with others or throw them after. My concern was especially towards the one with the scar, the one who seemed bolder with life than his comrades. He said that he throws the stick away but sometimes he does not. I tried in the most sincere and not so intrusive way to warn them of the danger of sharing sharp objects with others. I did not want to scare them in any way but still wanted to drive the point home providing how even those that get the tattoos get to a point in their life where they want them removed. I wanted them to see that tattooing one’s body was and is not such a cool thing especially when to them it seemed so. You see, the society that these little ones grow up in so much affects their growth in more ways than one. They talked about a certain grown-up woman who had also tattooed her body and to this particular boy with the scar it seemed so cool and stylish. How will they know what is rightfully right and what is truly wrong if those meant to be positive role models are a throwing caution to the wind?
As we walked, I think they sensed the direction of my conversation and fell back in step somewhat, giggling to themselves and teasing one another. I recognized the boundaries drawn and respected them hoping that my message had at least been got.