They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But that statement has never sat well with me because I’m a big fan of autonomy and individualism. I think when groups of individuals come together bringing all their talents and ideas to the table great things can happen. Being a carbon copy is so tired in my opinion and I’m a big fan of being and owning who you truly are.
Earlier this week, a blog post of mine was completely used without permission by a educational organization as a part of “their” (which I use loosely) piece discussing privilege. Although some may see this as awesome as they look through the lens of edu-fame, I was hurt and offended. Why wouldn’t have they just asked “do you mind we quote you or link to your blog?” I even received an email from the individual who produced the article one day prior to it being blasted out, and she made no mention she was using my stuff as well as great items from others. Is this the type of imitation that is flattering? Or is this carbon copy a disrespectful slap in the face? For me it is more of the latter and I will tell you why.
One of my biggest pet peeves in life is deceitful behavior. People talk a good game but have no substance. People who want to be down but really aren’t about that life. People who sell their soul for two minutes of fame instead of relentlessly doing the work because it’s the right thing to do. People who hop aimlessly from this fad to that trend instead of maintaining a steadfast purpose.
The work that I and others in education do often times is thankless, but we continue to work. It has never been about creating clickable content or catchy tweets for me, it’s always about sharing my passion, wanting all students to succeed, and the unwavering desire to always walk the talk. People that are deceitful or want to ride the backs of my hard work or the work of others need to have a seat. Please start doing the work yourself. Take a long hard look in the mirror, quit trying to appear to be something you are not. Live your truth and if you don’t like that truth, fix it. Just know when you do put in the real work and not lip service, you will produce beautiful fruit that is respected and apparent to all. It’s just that simple.
I will end with this. My friend Rafranz said I have to remember the passion in which I write and my presence on social media does resonate with people. That statement was jaw dropping but something I have to work on owning. I just see myself like anyone else navigating these choppy waters in education and educational technology, doing my best to bring opportunities to students, learn from others and always get better. But apparently for some, I’m more than that, more than a pepper flake in the salt shaker, more than a little voice from Georgia. Apparently, my passion, expression, and voice illicits a response for some causing them to publicly and sometimes privately agree and co-op my work and efforts. That is very, very humbling. Just remember next time you want to co-opt something of mine or anyone else for that matter, just respect the person enough to ask permission and also do some work yourself. If not your deceitful carbon copy co-opting will be called out and eventually expose you as the phony you are…..