He was flattered.
Happy post Valentine’s day. Are you still feeling the love? Yesterday, I had the opportunity to volunteer at my son’s Valentine’s party at school. I was in charge of one of the craft stations. The kids were making a bracelet out of heart shaped beads. Of course all the girls loved it… pink, red, white, lavender, and sparkly beads of all colors. My son came to my station with a few of his friends. One of the boys just made a face and wasn’t very interested in making a bracelet until he saw my son making an all black bead bracelet. At that point, the other boys thought it was cool and started copying him. One of the boys said, “I’m making a black one too” and encouraged the other boy to copy as well. My son said with a smile, “hey, they’re copying me.” It was obvious that he felt flattered.
She was annoyed.
My daughter, on the other hand, have in the past complained about other classmates copying her artwork, poetry, or would flat out steal her ideas and take credit for it. She was clearly annoyed.
I’d like to boost that I have been blessed with an extra “C” (for creative) chromosome. While growing up, I loved to do arts and crafts and I made my own toys and played games that weren’t brought at a store. I loved to sew, cook, draw and paint. I love details. I still do. I love to think outside the box and do things that other people wouldn’t do. I often have “cheesy” ideas, some of which people laugh at, some that have come to fruition while others still dangle in my dreams.
I’m usually flattered and don’t care if people copy me…
There’s been times when others would bring to my attention that so-and-so has copied me. I just respond with laughter and a sense of flattery. It’s fun and interesting to watch how the world responds to my ideas. This came up today. I learned that so-and-so has copied me again.
But today, I was flattered then annoyed then embarrassed.
I felt kinda weird… kinda flattered and a little embarrassed for the copier because others have noticed this about them. I’ve met many friends who have approached me asking about the ideas that I’ve materialized and we’ve collaborated and made that idea even better. I’ve also been on the other end as a copy-cat. I’ve approached others to inquire about their creative ideas and how I might copy it or use it to fit my needs. Needless to say, many friendships and greater ideas were born and everyone benefited. But today, I felt a little icky… almost like it was a sneaky behind the scenes kinda act. Maybe that’s just my ego feeling a little bruised that the copier didn’t feel like collaborating or acknowledging my kick-ass idea.
Now I know how my daughter felt. I had a talk with them today about this subject and asked how they felt about it. My son said he felt cool that someone wanted to copy him. My daughter said she doesn’t mind sharing her ideas but it bugged her that they took her idea and made it their own without crediting her.
All great ideas were born from someone copying something from someone else.
What I love about my teacher, Debbie, is that she has some crazy, fun, and out of the blue ideas that no one has ever thought of and she freely says, “go ahead and steal it, copy it, and make it even better because I’m gonna steal it back.” I just love this because all great ideas just make the world a greater place to be.
So why did I feel a moment of ick? I think because when I steal ideas from others, I acknowledge that person. I credit them. I thank them for their contribution. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t (and I’m thinking hard)… hey! even facebook credits the original poster when you share something of theirs.
I still feel flattered.
I’m glad so-and-so thought my idea was so good that it was worth copying, even if it was sneaky because in the grand scheme of things, it would make the world around us better.
I’m thankful for copiers.
They keep my creative juices flowing. They challenge me to come up with bigger and better ways to do something. They help me stay innovative so that I can inspire others. They validate that my ideas are working. Mostly they remind me to be exactly the way I am… to not think like others, to not want to be like any other, to be the one with cheesy ideas and to be the one who questions the norm.
A note to all you copy cats…
Go ahead and steal my ideas, copy them because I hope you can come up with a better idea. If you do, please share it with me. Better yet, spend more energy in firing up your creative juices so that I can copy you
Let’s do this!!!… TOGETHER!!
(ha! what a concept… people collaborating without feeling insecure or sneaky… the world would be a better place)