In a fascinating story about the strength of social media, Mark Cropp, a young man from New Zealand, faced a turning point after being in prison for a failed drug deal.
While in jail, Mark, eager for a new beginning after getting out, made a choice that would really change his life.
One evening in his cell, drunk on homemade alcohol from apples, bread, and sugar, Mark and his brother made a significant decision.
The face tattoo
In a haze, they chose to give Mark a face tattoo with his nickname using homemade ink from toothpaste and melted plastic knives and forks. The big black tattoo, saying “Devast8” on his jaw and lower face, later turned into a sign of sorrow.
After getting out of prison, Mark had a tough time finding a job. He really wanted to rejoin society and support his partner and daughter, but his big face tattoo made it almost impossible. Even with his past job experience, employers were turned off by the tattoo, making it hard for Mark to get hired.
Mark explained to the Daily Mail Australia that the tattoo meant: “For a while, I would mess up everything I was involved in. I ended up hurting everyone I met or got close to.”
He went on to say, “People would be upset with things I did or said – I always heard ‘that’s devastating.’ Once it began, I thought I couldn’t change my mind. Honestly, I wish I had stopped when the outline was there.”
“Before I realized it, I had this on my face… It was swollen like a big pumpkin,” he explained.
Wanting to get rid of the tattoo, Mark tried to find ways, but he didn’t have enough money, and not many professionals were willing to help. Laser removal, the best option, needed many sessions and was expensive. That’s when Mark asked for help on social media.
Mark went on Facebook, posted a selfie with his unique tattoo, asking for a job and a fresh start. His sincere request got noticed on the platform, and the people at Sacred Tattoo, a tattoo shop in Auckland, took notice.
Moved by Mark’s story and seeing a chance to do something good, Sacred Tattoo chose to do an incredibly kind thing. The tattoo shop, known for helping the community, offered Mark free sessions to remove the “Devast8” tattoo from his face using laser removal.
This act of generosity from Sacred Tattoo not only highlighted how social media can bring about positive change but also showed the significant impact of compassion.
Mark got a job at a scaffolding company called PR Contracting, making $22 per hour.
What are your thoughts on this story? Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance in life? Share your thoughts in the comments!