Being Breath

stories from the wilderness of everyday life

Discovering Yourself Elsewhere

Oh dear blog, how I've missed thee.  But without apology or explanation, I dive right back in:

I've noticed a lot going around recently on Twitter and various blogs about individuals taking/setaling ideas, pictures, words, and so on from other online sites.  

To be honest, I just wrote a very a long blog post about this topic.  I spent a good deal of the morning on it.  Towards the end, I typed, “Keep all of this in your awareness when discovering yourself elsewhere”.

That phrase, “discovering yourself elsewhere” both negated and underlined everything I had typed.  I have not been able to let go of my fascination with this.  Instead, I will just let go of the muck that I'd written and instead, write this post.

Discovering yourself elsewhere can take many forms.  Here’s one way of looking at those.

*Stealing: You find that someone has, without permission, taken your idea, your art, your outpouring to the world and in some form or fashion expressed it as their own.

*Borrowing: You find that someone has, with or without permission, taken your idea, your art, your outpouring to the world and in some form or fashion expressed it while still giving you credit.

*Impression: You find that someone has, with or without permission, taken your idea, your art, your outpouring to the world and in some form or fashion incorporated it into their own work.  Your color of playdough has been smooshed in with theirs – still clearly visible but fully incorporated into their color and the form they created.

*Reflection: You find that someone has already expressed an idea or feeling that you had/felt but that you have not expressed in a public manner.  (e.g. reading a book or blog in which you feel that the person “took the words right out of your mouth”)  In this sense, you are discovering yourself through the other person.

Each of these situations can be unsettling.  They remind our ego that there are other egos out there clamoring for attention and acceptance.

I challenge others to do no more than I ask of myself.  

Can we act in each of these situations?  Can we act without judgment and with respect?  

Can we assertively address those who intentionally act without regard for consequence?  Can we gently address those who unintentionally act without regard for consequence?  Can we realize that both forms of action are done from a place of Not Knowing and choose our own actions out of kindness?

Can we act without jealousy when discovering ourselves reflected?

I am human.  I can be (and have been) a real bitch...angry, logical at the expense of kindness, jealous, judgmental.  I know that while reactions taken while in this mood feel awesome and powerful in the moment, they always leave a residue of ickiness that does not wash away.

I leave you with a few other perspectives on this:

Bindu Wiles: The Pain and Annoyance of the Rip-Off
Kelly Rae Roberts: What Is Ok and What Is Not Ok

Obviously there is more to say on all of this, but I find the more I type - the more the words just get in the way.

And lunch calls.

Perhaps you will share your thoughts as well?