“A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others” – Ayn Rand
In our attempts to get ahead, to be ‘successful’, to say something interesting, some of us take a wrong turn. We hijack the words and ideas of others and present them as our own.
In short, we steal.
At no other point in history has it been so easy to steal in this fashion. The ease of tools that allow us to copy and paste and a culture that seems to celebrate and almost demand it at times lead to questionable behaviour.
People taking credit for someone else’s work.
People taking credit for other’s thoughts.
People taking credit where none is due.
The Fine Line has Been Crossed
In days past people would lift liberally of course. Inspired by others they would borrow a little of this and a little of that but they would also take pride in adding their own sprinkle to the mix. Add something to the original and make it their own. Not take it as is and claim it as their own. Importantly, oftentimes they would take pride in crediting the source of the inspiration. This is how it should be.
Being influenced and inspired by other’s work and then adding to it, shaping something related but not the same has led to all sorts of wonderful works of art and discoveries in mankind’s history.
Fast forward to now and crediting the source would seem a very alien concept for some. Better to just copy and paste and put our names on it so others think we are clever, full of insight and generally wonderful.
Is this really the sort of ‘success’ we want?
Is this really going make us proud when looking in the mirror in the morning?
Do we really think others will not see through this fake front of competence?
Be Inspired, Borrow but Credit the Source
Taking inspiration from something and stealing are very different. Let’s play by the rules and ensure we credit our sources where credit is due. Be inspired and borrow but also be creative , add your own sprinkle. That’s the path to great work that matters. Work that will inspire others.
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