Spreading the Love:
How to Ethically Share a Colleague's Work
“What is it that everyone says . . . that thing about flattery? . . . Imitation is the highest form of flattery! Oh yea! That’s it!”
This is what my significant other said to me while he was leaning over the bed, as I was reading an article my mom emailed to me this morning on plagiarism.
Last week, a dear friend of mine pointed out to me another famous medium was using my copy, as a substitute for their own. And just this morning, I discovered a blog post on another intuitive blog site - which was actually mine.
Word for word 100% verbatim, a popular article that I had written nearly two years ago.
This was not the first time this has happened - where someone has blatantly stolen my work.
This has happened before on the blog. It also happened in grade school. It happened at work. It happened in high school and it even happened when I presented one of my very first science projects at the 4-H fair.
At the time, my dad said the very same thing my significant other said this morning, as he drove me home crying in tears, “But Amanda, imitation is the highest form of flattery!”
If you copy the text from someone word for word - it is imitation, and it is also plagiarism.
And it’s illegal.
Original thoughts are what is known as intellectual property and many original thoughts, ideas and creative projects have taken the artist, scientist or the writer years of personal and soul history to develop, learn and manifest into the world.
When you do this, you are stealing:
Years of original thinking
Years of contemplative alone time
Hours upon hours of reviewing, rewriting, and reorganizing
countless personal failings and gettings back ups again
The articles that I have written for this website have taken me thousands of hours to write, and thousands more to think about, develop and organize my thoughts on the best way to present the topic.
None of it is copied.
All of the articles written on this website are 100% original pieces of art - written and composed by me, only after contemplating the topic for years, testing out the ideas myself and coming to a genuine conclusion - based on personal life experience, individual research from completely original testing and experimenting, and tons and tons of reading.
while I did not invent mediumship . . .
I did invent my perspective, as my unique viewpoint on the world is a collection of my life experiences. And this blog, is my genuine, heartfelt, creative contribution to the world. It’s my intellectual property.
what you see here is my original contribution as a soul on this earth.
In fact, Sarah and I often joke that the blog is my idea room.
Many of the articles I write are infused with my own personal stories and life experiences, most of which, were born of hard won lessons after nights of tears - just like that 4-H fair.
This is why, when I find a 100% verbatim copy of my work, posted by another person, as though it is their own words - I have to take a deep breath and step back.
“Plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation and stealing and publication of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions and the representation of them as one's own original work (1,2,3)".
Plagiarism is dishonest and a breach of ethical code for many organizations.
Which is why it surprised me to find it rampant within the intuitive community.
spirituality is about finding, unearthing and sharing your own truth.
So why do people not do that?
Sadly, in the intuitive field, within a group of people that celebrate, love, light and honesty - it has surprised me to learn this dishonesty actually happens to many, many intuitive, psychic, metaphysical, angelic and spiritual world bloggers.
While my significant other thinks this recent influx of stealing is sign that at least “people like what I do enough to claim it’s theirs,” I’m still not sure how I feel on it.
When you steal from another, you are not just eliminating the years and devaluing the time, thought and knowledge that it took to the artist to create with no effort at all.
You are also stealing from the universe an opportunity to receive and from yourself, an opportunity to give your own original contribution to the world of spirit, emotion and energy.
A world where, so much more information, illumination and original thought and perspective is needed.
Everyone learns from one another. Everyone develops their ideas based on the previous work, ideas and realizations of peers. This is how we grow, this is how we evolve and this, is how we collectively learn and advance as a society.
What is ethical
It is ethical and honest to read something you love, contemplate, stew it over, develop your own thoughts and ideas and then write, share and distribute something original from your heart which was inspired by this original work. This is in alignment with truth. This is an honest contribution.
It is also ethical to share and distribute the original words of others from their own heart - as long as you cite the source properly. As long as you value and credit the person who likely slaved hours and hours over the development of something, this is fine.
Provide a back link to the article or source, quotation marks where everything not original to you starts and stops, AND an author’s reference.
What is not ethical
To 100% verbatim steal another person’s work without crediting them and presenting it as your own work. This is not in alignment with truth.
It’s not truthful because it is false representation - claiming someone else’s 2 o'clock in the morning, hop out of bed brilliance is your own. Claiming the life story of another is your own, and forgetting that your own life story is just as interesting, valuable and worth writing about - this is an untruth, too.
By stealing the work of another, you prevent yourself from sharing your own truth with the world and the world from receiving the greater knowledge and wisdom you have within you.
That’s the real crime here.
Do you love someone’s work, so much that you want to post in on your Facebook page, your website or your own blog?
First, write that author a note to let them know how you feel. And then, follow these instructions.
How to Professionally Give Credit
1. Think about an original way to say it that is your own
If you have just read something you loved, step away from it, think about it, read it again, think about it some more, and when you develop a viewpoint, your take on the topic - write your very own piece.
The universe, needs your own soul’s perspective.
There is always a way to say something in your own words that is not someone else's words.
Call it paraphrase, call it re-wording, but unless you are citing a poem, an ancient philosophical work or instructions, there is almost never an excuse for why you have to copy someone else verbatim. You can, nearly 100% of the time, re-word the same concept with your own words, unless this person is coining a new term.
The world needs more original thoughts, expressions, explanations and interpretation on things. Provide your unique view and you offer a gift to the universe. You were put on this earth to do so.
Your words are just as valuable and beautiful as the words of another.
2. Cite their name and provide a backlink to their site
When your concept or verbiage matches, was inspired by or was taken from another artist, writer, chef, researcher or student - give credit to your inspiration source. It is a way to both honor what came before and honor how we all grow from one another. It is a way to share the work honestly.
When you cite a reference, traditionally, your cite their name and source in two places:
Within the text of the article, right behind the quoted or referenced text in parentheses
- At the bottom or end of the article
The original author is referenced at least twice - once where his/her main contribution to your piece is and once at the end of the piece.
If you are citing work on the internet, it is also proper practice to backlink to the article or the source of the information.
This blog is the essence of my truth - my heart, my soul and a piece of my spirit goes into every post. It’s my honesty. It’s my realness. It’s my life with Spirits.
I love when articles are shared in the same alignment with truth, in the spirit of honesty and with love.
Has your work been hijacked as an intuitive artist, writer or blogger?
Theresa Reed has an excellent resource on what to do and how to handle it here.
1. From the 1995 Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary: use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work qtd. in Stepchyshyn, Vera; Nelson, Robert S. (2007). Library plagiarism policies. Assoc. of College & Resrch Libraries. p. 65. ISBN 0838984169.
2. From the Oxford English Dictionary: the wrongful appropriation or purloining and publication as one's own, of the ideas, or the expression of the ideas… of another qtd. in Lands (1999)
3. From WikiPedia: Plagiarism is the wrongful appropriation and stealing and publication of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions and the representation of them as one's own original work (2014)