**Grammar alert** I’ve used the word ‘learnt’ as in the past tense of ‘to learn’ in this post. This is the better understood, British way of writing the word. However in America they say and write it as ‘learned’. Both are grammatically correct it just depends which English you prefer to use.
This week I’ve learnt two very important lessons:
First off, I learnt the world, as big as it is, is full of nice people. I don’t know them though, I may never get to even meet them, but I’ve exchanged enough words, seen enough dialogue, photo’s, videos and blogs to give me insight enough to know they are nice people.
It’s reassuring to know that there are nice people out there because after watching the news that reports daily killings, kidnappings, beatings and unreasonable opinions, it’s good to have faith put back into humanity again.
And secondly the reason I know there are some very cool people out there is because they’ve taught me something – they have taught me that they spend their lives (or periods in their lives), doing nothing else but giving up their time to produce things for others to enjoy. All without copyright, all without barriers, and all free.
I am of course talking about public domain areas on the web, and Creative Common licenses. I’ve used many Creative common photo’s on this blog in the past. It’s a wonderful resource. Basically, it allows you to use any photo with the CC stamp on it for any non-commercial use, as long as you give due credit to the photographer/author.
But it doesn’t just stop at photographs, there are novels, teaching plans, scripts, lyrics, songs, videos, films and fan fiction all out in the public domain free to use and enjoy.
Giving time up and sharing it with others
I was utterly amazed when chatting to someone who, having fell in love with the German soap Hand Auf Herz, decided to transcript over 200 episodes of the show and translate it into English. Apparently there was a copyright issue with regard to adding subtitles to the original episodes, so to get around it, and because there was such a huge following (still is), they sat down and translated every scene, every show by hand. And there were others doing the same, in various other languages. Then they posted it up online for everyone to enjoy the show in their own native language.
They must have spent hours trying to understand German words and put them into coherent English ones. And it was done not from a sense of personal gain but through being able to be part of something bigger and give back to others.
I have to say that blew me away.
Here’s me, in most areas of my life where I just don’t share much at all, and it’s made me think- a lot.
I’ve got a frustrating inability and can be quite objectionable when it comes to sharing anything and I’m not sure why. I think it’s born from a fear of losing something if I try and offer it out. But sharing isn’t quite the same as losing. In fact by sharing you actually gain. Of course you gain. You gain friendship, new ideas, achievements and being part of something rather than going it alone.
If I’m totally honest I have a hard time sharing just a bag of sweets. I’d rather just wait until I can have what’s left over than have to keep too’ing and fro’ing with a bag, but thinking about it I think this is more of my introverted approach to everything, rather than my ability to share. Being outgoing, and just offering (or receiving) anything, becomes slightly awkward for me and usually involves mindless chatting which is a challenge in itself. But that chatting leads to a better conversation and allows me the privilege of getting to know someone, so it’s always worth doing.
I really enjoyed being able to share our garden produce this year. We had so much fruit it would have been wasted had I not offered it up and it felt good doing so because I’d actually grown enough, and grown it well to be able to share – sharing had become an achievement in itself!
But as for my creative endeavors, apart from sharing this blog, I don’t share much else – partly because I don’t create enough but also because I’m not sure what good it would do anyway.
But why should it do good, as the first reason to make something public or to share it with others? It’s not about constantly being told it’s good (or rubbish), it’s just about adding or offering to the world because someone, somewhere may use it, and if they don’t it doesn’t matter because it’s been created with care and creative love to begin with.
I won’t get caught up in whether what I offer is good enough, or new enough or original enough. I’ll simply just be here to share it and if others (or just one person), can put it to good use then what a great opportunity to have added great stuff to this world.
So the two questions I’m going to start my day with are – what can I share today and who can I share it with?
Cover photo courtesy of rynacr