In a world where we are culturally taught to get as much as we can, to take and never give unless we are compensated I’m sitting with a peculiar feeling that I don’t know what to do with. This feeling just doesn’t fit with what I have been taught, yet feels so right.
I should back-up a little, my thoughts began when I learned of a person who was sued for using art that didn’t belong to her on her website. I think it was used to promote her own product without thought or mention of the original artist. The artist got wind, and instead of asking her to take the art down, sued for copyright infringement. The women learned a few valuable lessons that she has since turned into learning and growth, but the story didn’t stop there for me. I innocently use pictures from all over the internet for this blog, noting artist where I can find their names, I would hate to think I could get caught in something like this and yet I’m glad for the opportunity to present another thought. It’s quite simple in my books, manners are manners, if you use someones ideas, art or anything make a note of where you found it and give credit. I’ve actually found artists that I would have never known existed before through this way of sharing. I’ve followed links from other blogs and followed their progress, becoming a lover of their inspiration to this world.
But what I’m sitting with is the idea that there is such fear in us as a culture. We’re worried someone will steal our ideas, worry that we wont be compensated, worry that somehow we wont get ours. I’m painting in broad strokes here and know it. But it seems a collective idea and not an individual one, the fear is ingrained into our capitalist society. I understand that I’ve inherited the world as it is, and that I continue to play by its set-up rules, so I’m part of this loop. But I think the rules come from a belief that the universe is finite, that there is only so much to go around and the belief that hording is better than sharing.
A few years ago, a cousin asked if I was afraid that someone would steal my words and claim them as their own. It hadn’t occurred to me, but of course I was scared. I immediately took down my first on-line sharing; maybe it wasn’t right to share so freely my gifts with the world. It took six years before I began blogging and the energy isn’t with fear, but with love.
My words come from me, they pour from my heart, but more importantly they come from the part of my that is infinite. They may even be prompted by something I have seen, read or encountered, not from my singular creation. Where does inspiration come from, where does the muse spark? That’s an entirely different post all together.
More importantly, if someone steals my words I know without a doubt that I have more that will pour out. If someone happens to make money from my creation then they are obviously better at selling the words than I am. If I create art, and someone claims the work as their own, let them try to reproduce another in the same style … they wont be able to. So they make money, their Karma will come back on them, I don’t have to dance with my ego on this in the least. Each of us are unique, with our own twist on things. Perspectives are just that and fear is not how I choose to live.
I read once that any true artist/writer steals from those who come before them and puts their own spin on it. There is, after all, nothing new under the sun…to steal a phrase. There are no words or ideas to be had that have not been thought a thousand times over with varying degrees of notice or compensation. I am an infinite being with infinite potential to create and I create from joy and connection.
I wonder if this idea is too naive, if it really isn’t as simple as laying your heart out to the universe … but I can’t shake the feeling that fear only begets fear in a never-ending cycle. Creativity without boarders, without need for compensation, but the joy of creation is true abundance.