original content and images ©j.g. lewis
a daily breath...
A thought du jour, my daily breath includes collected and conceived observations, questions of life, fortune cookie philosophies, reminders, messages of peace and simplicity, unsolicited advice, inspirations, quotes and words that got me thinking. They may get you thinking too . . .
I'm like a pencil;
Still I write.
is a writer/photographer in Toronto.
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logical and chronological
It’s popular, and it’s alarming.
Plagiarism has become a bigger problem than ever, and more apparent as social media further casts its spell across every platform and screen. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are all full of bright shiny examples; you see it all the time.
It’s out there. It is trending.
A disturbing, disrespectful act, plagiarism is stealing, passing off the ideas or words of another person as one’s own. Examples lack credit or attribution.
I’ve called out a couple of people over the past few months for blatant
misuse of quotes belonging to someone else.
One person, a couple of times on her social media feeds, matched lovely quotes (including one by T.S. Eliot) with beautiful black and white photographs of herself. The combination looked great, but nowhere was the poet credited with the original genius.
Another influencer — in a stylized format featuring her name and image — used the words of a popular motivational speaker. An earlier post, in the same branded format, featured a paraphrased quote by Toni Morrison.
The Instagram post was made to look like the influencer was the one offering up such compelling advice.
It was so wrong.
I sent a comment to the owner of the post (but not the words), informing her the quote belonged to someone else. “It’s great to be inspired, but share the credit,” I said.
She quickly responded: “I had no clue it was him as it’s just a widely shared quote without his name.”
See, that’s the problem; nobody does the research. Nobody takes the time to find the source of their inspiration. Nobody bothers.
It’s sad because the same device used to create the post has the capability to trace the source of the statement. A Google search is so easy.
Attribution is important. Behind every quotable quote is a writer, an artist or musician, politician or fortune cookie philosopher who laboured over the correct phrasing or came to them in a flash of brilliance.
They deserve the credit for the deep thought or clever observation. But, these days, they don’t get it.
Now, I’m not saying that the people I called out are not capable of such profound thought, but it seems they don’t even try. One of them, by simply taking a phrase that has already made its rounds on the Internet, shows how little she was trying to come up with eye-catching content.
It’s really too bad.
Plagiarism is a despicable, duplicitous act. It is ethically wrong, morally reprehensible, spiritually bankrupt, and grounds for dismissal in the halls of academia. It should be a source of shame to anyone who seriously commits such a tasteless endeavor.
Plagiarism is fraudulent, leaves little to the imagination, and corrupts the concept of free thought. No matter how brave and bold the original work was, it becomes empty of its meaning when it is bastardized.
I’m not saying that every time you plagiarize a kitten dies, or another COVID-19 variant is released unto the world, for it is more serious than that. Each time you claim the words of others as your own; you dilute the original message of a fellow human being. At the same time, you weaken your own content.
Be creative. If there is a point you are trying to make, or you are attempting to inspire or provide insight, use your own words (or give credit where credit is due).
If you chose to pass along an inspiring quote, be inspired yes, but provide attribution (and don’t just hide it deep down in your content).
Show you know who said it.
Show you know what you are talking about.
Show that creativity is more than a pretty picture and a few happy words. Show the true worth of the words.
You’ll feel better about it.
Believe in yourself, and others will believe it too.
© 2021 j.g. lewis
Costs of living intently rising with greater momentum
than we have experienced in decades. Inflation. A dollar
eroding, daily, hourly, overnight as markets contract or
give way to pressures we have not known; for a while.
Geo-political influences, war we cannot ignore, news
streaming 24 hours a day. It is the way we live. Digitally.
Death toll accumulates; we have been watching the
numbers climb for well over two years now. This virus.
Pandemic focused our psyche on the ebb and flow of
what little we know. Climate change we once ignored,
heat or rain in amounts we have not seen before, in areas
once plagued by drought. We only think we remember.
The earth is changing, and we with it. How can we not?
Efforts all for nothing, we take stock of what we have and
all we have lost. We feel a deficit, financially and morally.
We contemplate circumstances never before considered.
Money is more than our own concern; and concerned
we must be. Drastic shifts of the dollar; our wallet not as
bulky as it once was. Common cents. Pump prices rise,
daily, to record levels. It will again, the costs of this pain.
So much has been misplaced, most of all this sense of
community. Look around. Do you see the abundance of
friends and colleagues we used to know? How did they go?
How can we afford to sustain the inevitable unavoidable?
© 2022 j.g. lewis
Summer doesn’t speak;
it whispers a conscious melody
to high-heeled fashionistas with open toes,
sunburnt brats with runny noses, and
old men who know
evening air is sweeter
when dusk has had its way. Humidity.
Sweat of the glass,
Tangueray and tonic
will take away the pain,
Mosquito bites, lonely nights
sitting on an ever- creaky veranda,
Dinah Washington crackles from the speaker.
Suddenly you appear. . .
Any other day
flowers stand taller, like
the younger women strolling by,
getting younger by the day.
the perspiration from your brow;
the once-crisp handkerchief has
soaked up many nights of lustful thoughts.
Old men just grow older,
the meaning comes with age. Humility.
Summer lasts as long
as a savings account wastefully spent.
Then you are gone. . .
most of the flowers will perish
well before first frost,
mostly from neglect. Naturally.
We will all grow tired
of looking at them,
or forget the beauty.
Our minds go to other places.
Yet summer, in its capricious wisdom,
will breathe again
to those of us who will listen.
To young women
and older men.
© 2018 j.g. lewis
Watercolour painting by Kevi Remple
*selected lyrics from Invitation.
Written by Bronislaw Kaper/Paul Francis Webster,
the jazz standard was memorably recorded
by Dinah Washington in 1962. Has desire ever
been captured more sensually in a musical state?