This is a great article By Douglas Groothuis. I think it needs a wider audience. I hope people will take time to read it. Of course it is amusing but also reminds us that Curmudgeons have a place, even a high place in society.
There is a lot of silliness going this morning over Melania Trump’s speech. I thought as speeches go, it was a good one. But the accusation of plagiarism is silly. It is about 16 words, “that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond.” This is supposed to be a steal from Michelle Obama. Well if it is so, then she stole it from my Dad, who died more than 30 years ago. He used to say the same thing. He had some other sayings I am sure others have stolen.
These are commonisms (yes. I made up a word). These are common ideals in our American society. But it seems that they are so forgotten that when one uses such a phrase, and who knows who originally said them, some think they are recently created and that others who use them plagiarize.
It’s a sad world. The world is a lot more simple than politicians allow it to be. They put complications on top of reality and pretend that is the way it is. ( I guess someone will accuse me of stealing from Walter Cronkite) But these complications are just tools to confuse us, and throw us off guard. Watch for the liars, the complicators the accusers, the twisters of reality.
The truth is simple. Morality and ethics are simple. Faith is simple. Life is simple. We live, we love, we work, we provide, we express compassion and hate, and sadly we die. There is nothing new under the sun. The One who made us, gives us life, expects us to use it rightly, and He calls us to an accounting. There is nothing complicated about that.
Just an added note. I have had blowback insisting that it is plagiarism. It can’t be anything but plagiarism. Of course, the next time anyone encourages a teenager to work hard to accomplish your dreams, you will be a plagiarist. If you tell your child that your word is your bond, then you are a plagiarist. Someone has the rights to all wisdom, therefore you cannot teach it or speak it to anyone. It reminds me of the time, as a child. I thought that I ought to patent the shovel and get rich. But you can’t patent a shovel. The argument about plagiarism of common words and ideas is the same sort of lunacy.
Neither Michelle Obama nor Melania Trump wrote their speeches. They were written by professional speech writers. So, strictly speaking, both plagiarized their writers.
I’m afraid this is the best thinking many in our world has to offer. The inflamed critics did not hear about a legal immigrant, who came to this country and the values she brought with her. They did not hear her thankfulness for her new country and the opportunity of freedom after leaving the oppression a communist country. No, they manufactured an accusation of plagiarism. Very sad.