In this riveting story of the influence of social media, Mark Cropp, a young man from New Zealand, was serving a two-year and three-month sentence for a failed drug deal when he found himself at a crossroads. Desperate for a fresh start after serving his sentence, Mark made a decision that would have a significant impact on his life while in prison. Mark and his brother made a life-changing decision one night while they were in their prison cell, heavily drunk on homemade liquor made from fermented apples, bread and sugar. In a daze, they decided to use melted plastic knives and forks and toothpaste as improvised ink to tattoo Mark’s nickname on his face.
The resulting huge black tattoo, which gradually became an expression of grief, bore the bold inscription “Devast8” on his underside and jaw. After serving his time in prison, Mark had to deal with the harsh reality of unemployment. Despite his desire to support his girlfriend and young daughter and reintegrate into society, he soon realized that his huge facial tattoo made this completely impossible. Mark had previously worked, but the obvious ink immediately put off potential employers, leaving him unable to find employment. “You know, there was a long time when I destroyed everything I touched. “I would end up destroying everyone I meet or get close to,” Mark told Daily Mail Australia of the purpose behind the tattoo. He continued: “You would have been disappointed by something I did or said – I always heard, ‘That’s devastating.’ Once it started, I thought, I can’t go back to it now. To be honest, I wish I had stopped while the outline was there,” he said. “Before I knew it, I had this on my face…It was swollen like a bloody pumpkin,” he said.
Desperate for a way out, Mark looked for ways to get rid of the tattoo, but he couldn’t find willing professionals or the money to do it. The most practical solution, laser removal, required multiple sessions and was quite expensive. Mark then turned to social media for support. Mark posted a selfie of himself on Facebook, showing off his unique tattoo and asking for work and a fresh start. His sincere request soon gained popularity on the network and caught the attention of the employees of the Auckland tattoo studio Sacred Tattoo. Sacred Tattoo made the decision to undertake a remarkable act of generosity because Mark’s story had inspired them and they felt they had a chance to contribute. Recognized for its commitment to the neighborhood, the tattoo parlor offered Mark free laser removal sessions to get rid of the “Devast8” tattoo on his face.
This act of kindness from Sacred Tattoo illustrated the influence of compassion and demonstrated the transformative potential of social media. Additionally, Mark was able to secure a job at PR Contracting, a scaffolding company, where he was paid $22 an hour. What do you think of this story? Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance in life? Let us know what you think by SHARE this article!