Monday, January 25, 2010

That's Mine!

"Same-same."

When is something ours?

Years ago I combined Sandra's Chocolate Cake with my mom's Texas Sheet Cake, and added a teaspoon of cinnamon—it became my chocolate cake. Candice now makes it more often than I do. She's adjusted a teaspoon here and a degree there to make it unique. It's mine when I make it, but definitely hers when she does.

Dad was known as the optimist. I believed his ideas. Putting them into practice, they were supported by my own experience; now his philosophy has become mine.

A famous scholar, D.W. Winnicott, refused to give credit to others for his theories. He said, "My mind works differently than yours. I gather this and that, here and there, and form my own theories. I never interest myself about where I stole what."

"Is that mine?"

T.S. Eliot said, "A minor poet borrows, a great poet steals." When a writer uses a quote in the context it was written, to support the same idea, it is borrowed. But when writing inspires some new thinking, the words can be used again, and be original again.

"Are you copying me?"

Everybody has known somebody who copies. An outfit, a decorating touch, a unique style—they're all up for grabs. Just stroll through the blogosphere for many examples. But a copy can't stand on it's own for long; originality is what lasts. We can't really steal ideas. Our own unique combination of experience and understanding puts a personal imprint on anything we collect from others. After that happens we can claim, "It's mine."

(That being said, if my cake falls, remember it was Sandra's recipe.)


*Homework:

~Post a favorite recipe you consider your own.

~Write a post using this prompt: "I loved what she said, but my mind went in a whole new direction. I thought . . . "

~Has someone copied one of your ideas? How did you feel? Write about it.


12 comments:

Christie said...

I TOTALLY do this all the time. I hear something or make something and instantly and vehemently take credit for it and it becomes my thing. I am glad to see that in some eyes, it's not such a bad thing.

kenju said...

I am always flattered when someone copies me on anything!!


Love your precious photos!

the wrath of khandrea said...

love the clever captions with the photos.

i am currently teaching this principal to two 6th grade boys during their recesses. they are attending my "copying and honesty seminar", which is indefinite in length, in hopes of understanding the difference between helping one another generate ideas, and stealing homework.

ah, good times.

the wrath of khandrea said...

principle. not principal.

The Grandmother Here said...

Somebody once said, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

gab said...

I pretty much copy you all the time.

Misty said...

I figure I can 'copy' someone if I put more of me then them in it. Kind of like someone who writes a historical fiction...you take a little bit of what's already there and add a lot bit of your own material. But that's just me. And I might feel differently if someone copied me.

In 5th grade, a girl named Lisa copied one of my stories and I was the one who got in trouble because my teacher thought I had copied Lisa. That kind of stunk.

Misty said...

P.S. Here's my recipe.

Kay Dennison said...

Love the photos!!!! I swipe but I always try to give the creator his/her propers!

crissy said...

I've been doing some copying lately. Working to make it not just a copy, but also my own.
I always feel nervous when I copy, though. My sister used to get so mad when I copied her.
I don't want people to be mad at me when I use their ideas...

Misty said...

My sweet mom just informed me that I have a typo in my comment, and to my horror, there it is: 'then' when it should be 'than.' Truly, horrified is the only word to describe me right now. Forgive me!

diane said...

I do believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I love it when someone copies me.