What happened to progressive thinking?

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Again, I find myself disheartened in the lack of progression.
A very dear and old friend of mine has recently begun to turn over a fresh new leaf of life and I couldn’t be more proud. Although there have been a few bumps in the road, she remains positive through encouragement that she will soon succeed in societal demands.
In addition to recently applying and being accepted to a university, she was on the hunt for a job to help fund her newfound passion for higher education.  However, without reliable transportation, it has been an immense challenge to find employment close to home. When finally being hired on as a sales associate in a place I will not mention, she was beaming with joy and so happy to have found a place that would give her a chance. Her self-confidence began to rise and she finally had hope that things were going to be alright.
Fast forward to the first day, past all of her anxious feelings upon arrival, and naturally she has to remove her coat to start the job. Low and behold, her right wrist is adorned with a permanent butterfly that they had not seen in the interview. She was asked to leave because of the ink.
For a few days after hearing the news, I thought about how unfortunate it was that, even though it is 2011, hard working individuals in the world were still being denied jobs because of their outer appearance. After the disappointment settled in, I began to notice a few things about my current job and the place that I live. Joined together for a beer with young professionals fresh from the nine to five workday, some dressed in colorful scrubs, some in high-end slacks and others covered in soot, I noticed something: Every single one of us had tattoos. Thinking, ‘it must just be because I am in a bar with my friends at happy hour’, I put the thoughts aside and moved on to the next day. But then I noticed something at my job: three-fourths of us have tattoos. The best part is that the embedded ink isn’t hidden, nor do they require us to cover them up. All they ask is that we simply work hard and of course, dress professionally. Boy, do I feel blessed.
It is quite alarming and discouraging to think that the hard working men and women of this age are being denied acknowledgement for their work ethic because of body art. More so is it disappointing that customers are at times appalled at someone else’s body being their own canvas.
There is a very outstanding preacher in the city that fills people who have lost hope in life with so much love and compassion that they completely do a 180, beginning to encourage others whose lives are on the wrong path.
Showering these people with kindness and generosity, he gives them optimism and faith that their lives are delicate spheres and that they need to return the blessings they have been given. This preacher and his team of compassionate all-stars are the ones who feed and clothe the homeless, return men and women from the sex trade industry, and set free those that are burdened by the abuse of alcohol and drugs.
This preacher owns the best tattoo parlor in the city. Think about it.
Riah Robinson
Cincinnati area,
formerly of Carrollton