The Girl with the Smurf Tattoo

Sponsored Content

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Carl Pettit

Carl Pettit is a writer, illustrator and musician whose education and travels have taken him all over the world. When not out exploring, or pondering the universe, he finds time to produce fiction for both adults and children. You can catch up with him on his blog, or twitter.


  1. There’s a semi-similar Buddhist practice in which one envisions the person as the embodiment of compassion, and visually as substanceless light. Deeply knowing or understanding these modes of perception of another human being makes it impossible to attach to him/her, to get mad at him/her; easier to release all negativity &, I’m guessing, respond (as you point out) compassionately to someone who doesn’t appear to deserve it.

  2. wellokaythen says:

    It’s silly and unfair to come to conclusions about a person based on things that person has no control over. That just seems self-evident to me.

    But, when one’s appearance is a product of some clear, sustained choices, then I think it’s fair to come to some tentative conclusions about that person based on some limited evidence. Sure, these are stereotypes and we shouldn’t overgeneralize, but it’s not the end of the world if you start to interpret someone else based on evidence of that person’s choices. When I do this, I leave room for the possibility that I could be wrong, but I feel confident I can start to draw some conclusions.

    If you’re like one of those men in prison with a shaved head and racist words tattooed all over your face, then I feel okay in predicting that you might be something of a dangerous racist. Still a human being, of course, and I can still feel compassion for you, but you’re giving me some big clues I can’t really ignore.

    And, I think we can all agree that we’ve met some people whose appearance is clearly a product of some very bad choices in life. Some very poor judgment about things they knew would have permanent consequences. Sure, you may be in a very different place today than you were when you got that gang symbol tattooed on your forehead, but there is some evidence there of a person with a history of some very poor judgment.

    Also, my impression is that blue ink, especially something like a Smurf color, doesn’t hold up as well as some of the other colors, so it’s easier to get a tattoo of something black like a black dragon than to get a blue tattoo like that of a Smurf.

  3. Absolutely – you can’t ignore, and shouldn’t, reality.
    If there’s a guy holding a gun to my head I’m not going to say, “shoot me, please.”
    I guess for me the compassion-exercise serves to clarify my mind in the face of my useless judgments & distinctions; but there’s also a world out there, and it’s not imaginary, and actions do have consequences, and black dragons are less cuddly than smurfs.

Speak Your Mind