I was at an event in Portland Oregon when a young woman approached me. On her shoulder was a beautifully done tattoo of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. I immediately recognized the image as a famous 1877 portrait because I had that very portrait hung in my study. Joseph, along with Martin Luther King and Abraham Lincoln are my pantheon of Great Americans.
Impressed, I asked the young lady how she came to that choice. She told me she was “into” Native American spirituality and this image just “jumped out at her”. She did not even know that the figure was Chief Joseph. I instantly knew why the picture had attracted her interest. It was the eyes. The most striking aspect of that photograph are the eyes. The eyes are filled with compassion, wisdom, intelligence and a deep abiding sadness. So, I went on to explain to her just how fine a choice she had made.