Some years ago I scripted a one hour talk on barefoot walking. It proved to be popular; so much so, people sometimes say ‘Ian, I remember the ‘barefoot talk.’ I remember it for a different reason. A friend sent me an e-mail. ‘Have you read the article in XYZ magazine? The writer has recorded your talk. The article is so close in content, it must be yours.’ I read the article, and indeed the writer had used my speech as the basis of the article. My reply was simple ‘I have no concern, let people take what they like. The fact is, when using another man’s ideas, the inner-being and conscience recognise the theft. From my point of view, the plagerist is like an artist singing a cover song; the tribute never comes close to the original.
I am rewriting my book ‘Never Let Anything Worry You’ and until it is published no information about the changes will be available. Never have I been more careful with my work, the book will represent two years of research. Re-listening to hundreds of hours of interviews, notes and short videos will make the book the best I have written. For the first time, the decision to Fort Knox the copyright is made. Every sentence and paragraph will be protected, and those who steal my work will pay for their error. Plagiarism software is so efficient; tracking intellectual theft is no problem. Only fools take another writer’s work these days.
After the first draft and proofreading, the book is A4 printed and posted to three individuals for approval. They will be asked to read the book and circle any paragraphs which cannot be understood. When the copies return all comments, notes and criticism will be addressed, and the book will have its final rework, and it will be published. My assessors are trusted friends, who will provide accurate appraisals of the book.
Real friends balance their heart (emotion) and mind (intellect) and will not place feelings before their wise council. When asked for an opinion, my appraiser’s can be confident they will give a fair assessments. I do not underestimate the task, and I recognise the immense cost of the time given to it. I have placed them in an awkward situation, as many paragraphs and essays will question, beliefs, options and ideal’s which are close to their heart. One of my friends may feel concern for the criticism of his profession, although he is already aware of my opinion. The trio are exceptional individuals; they will understand what I am asking of them. I am not seeking criticism or argument, my need if for them to assess if the sections are understandable and coherent.
Very few people can mentally digest information which is opposed to opinion. Most people see the smaller picture and fail to enjoy the landscape. It is rare for an individual to talk about both sides of an issue without demonstrating a bias toward the one aspect which ‘proves’ their opinion. Artists and creatives have to see the whole picture; a man cannot be a writer if he cannot join all aspects of a story, his character should experience difficult times, maybe abuse or betrayal before the love story ends in happiness. An artist can paint a dark storm or depict heaven within a summers day. The composer evoke’s feelings of sadness and elation. The friends who will assess my book are creative intellectuals, emotional intelligence is the summit of reason.
Although their emotional intelligence is exceptional, they possess the greatest of assets. It cannot be faked or disguised, it is integrity, and within this word is another… trust. I know they can be trusted without question, there is no compromise, their integrity is sabre sharp, there is no fear of truth. Another friend, Francis once commented: ‘truth inflicts emotionally damaging wounds’ he is right. Our inner strength has to be tungsten hard to accept many facts and truths. I have no concern for the individual who stole my talk and put their name to my hours of research, writing of scripts and rehearsing my presentation. The fact is, one friend, recognised the plagiarism and although another signature ended the essay, my name is within every word of the published article.