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A coworker of mine has two skulls tattooed on his body.

He explained that he likes skulls: that to him they are a sign of security, structure, and strength.

Not what I see when I see a skull.

But it would be a mistake for me to assume they mean to him what they mean to me.

Some symbols share a unanimous connotation: nobody wears a swastika thinking that it’s a symbol of peace, and vice versa with a peace sign. 

But for other less obvious symbols, it makes sense to be open to a range of interpretation before we assume the worst.