What do you do when you're in LasVegas with your son at a Promise Keepers rally? You get a tattoo, right?
Still feeling a spiritual high from the PK event at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, we were walking the famous strip with casinos, restaurants, all kinds of stores and wall-to-wall people. When we passed a tattoo shop, we both looked at each other with a double-dog dare you kind of smile.
My choice for a tattoo on my arm was two words, "SO WHAT?"
These two words have had a special meaning for me for a long time. Back in the sixties when I was at the Michigan State University School of Journalism, I was trained to write hard news stories. Always put the who, what, when, where, how and why in the lead. And don't forget the "SO WHAT?" That always stuck with me.
I've listened to thousands of political speeches and sermons and I've written probably about that many news releases and I've written speeches and I've always looked for the "SO WHAT?" Why should I listen to this? Why is it important to somebody else? Why does this affect my life?
Now more than 40 years after I graduated from MSU, I still ask that question. And so does my son, Justin, who sat around the dinner table trying to dissect sermons and speeches and articles with the first question being "SO WHAT?" He's taken it a step farther and examined what he does for a living by asking himself the question.
What about the tattoo? When I saw the needles and I learned that they didn't wash off, I passed. But the question is burned in my head.
How about Justin? What tattoo did he get? You'll have to ask him?