Al Cashion: Be who you iz
October 7, 2012
"Be who you iz and be so who you iz, you can't be any izzer."
The older I get, the wiser it sounds.
I say it from time to time when I think I can give the right delivery at the perfect moment. I didn't ask his permission to use it though. I don't remember who he was.
Is that plagiarism…… thought theft… …. putting his words in my mouth?
“One source is plagiarism, two sources is research.”
My History Professor would say this with his dry but unmistakably humorous wit. He was joking. If a student turned in a research paper that didn't have more references than …uh…. a reference book or at least a whole gob more than two, he was kindly referred to an opportunity to start again with a treacherously abbreviated due date.
We are copy cat creatures, you know, borrowing from those who left an impression on our mind or spirit. We pirate statements or phrases, unique speech patterns and even complex philosophies and patterns of thought.
We rewrite the once written word and claim ownership soon, and forget the source soon after. Mannerisms, posture and "body language," all run through our human mimeograph.
King Solomon thought about what was original or new. He would have thought about plagiarism too. But plagiarism wasn't a word yet.
He was in one of his more sullen moods as he co-authored the book of Ecclesiastes. I think his harem had gone on strike or something.
But he was kind of a moody guy anyway. He came from a dysfunctional family and had some control issues.
He wrote in his dour mood, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again, there is nothing new under the sun.”
He wrote it like a self-centered, spoiled King who had pampered himself too much and was now bored with life.
None-the-less, the passage is a self evident truth.
Ol' Sol did regroup by the way. He figured out there was a season for everything and it sorta worked out in the big picture.
I don't know if the strike ended.
Truth: "there is nothing new under the sun."
I know what you are thinking. "Original and new happen all the time. Technology, entertainment, architecture, transportation, farming, federal laws, federal laws, federal laws, federal laws and fenders on Fords have something new all the time."
Well, yes, Dear Reader, that is seemingly so. But I think we add to, personalize, advance, modify, mutate, magnify and moderate but I promise you, pure originality is a very rare event.
There once was a creation event that was pure and new, intelligently designed and a pretty big deal, a "bang" thing and a big one at that. No plagiarism.
Your birthday was one such moment. Nothing was ever like it before, nothing like it again. It was kind of a "bang" thing too, and a big deal.
Yes. Of course I have a point.
You were not the result of plagiarism. You were born with an exclamation point behind your name, a drum roll and a "ta da!" You are part of the Designer's ongoing "Original Works of Art" show. You have a Certificate of Authenticity and are in the Official Registry.
The Certificate is a strong desire to create. You know you are an authentic production of the the Intelligent One when something inside of you screams to build something, landscape something, sing, dance and play something. Pick up an instrument or a camera or a paintbrush. Write something. Make up a song for a child. Fly off the high dive and make your body do what your mind creates.
Never mind the last one. I tried. It hurts.
But you must be who YOU iz. You rob the rest of us when you borrow someone else’s certificate. Allow yourself to fall in love with what you fall in love with and do it.
Be so who you iz you can’t be any izzer. Copy Cat iz’s and plagiarizers just izn’t right.
I’m waiting to see what you got!