Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Did you Take MY IDEA???

Seriously I have had this post  in drafts since prior to Christmas 2009 but as our family is going through another creativity burst with the children and I learning new and varied skills I thought it would be appropriate to post it now.

I have continued to mull over this post on and off, wondering what I would say and how I  would present these ideas.

I hope as I write these thoughts out that I can express my thoughts clearly without too much be forewarned this may be long.

For those of you who have visited here before you wold well know that Our Home is a home where we choose to have many traditions and family based activities, where we try to encourage creativity and expressions of individual interests.

What may surprise some of you is that I grew up in a home with virtually NO traditions at all.
Sure we went to Church on Sunday, we celebrated Christmas and Easter and Birthdays up to a point, but there were no special activities or family times involved with these.

Our Christmas dinner was a baked dinner with a bought Christmas cake and bought custard. We never baked cookies or prepared anything during Advent and once Christmas day was over that was it. The same for Easter and Birthdays, the days came and went with a slightly different focus but....well you get the picture.

So, as Stephen and I began our Family we wanted to create a close family atmosphere that would continue to grow as our family grew and eventually grow out to their own families.

One of the first books I learnt about 'Creating a Home Atmospher' and, this was before Home Schooling, before computers and forums and blogs etc, so it was  when books provided the main inspirations for me was the book  The Spirit of Loveliness by Emily Barnes.

Even today I love looking through this book. It inspires my in my vocation and softens my outlook on the world. My edition has the old cover, of Emily herself in a softened background of her home.

I was not surrounded by expended family and friends who valued the creative side of homemaking and obviously the benefits of the Internet world were non existent that we have today.

It was this quote from her book that really I wanted to talk and expand upon as it had such an impact on how I viewed my own abilities to be creative even though my past had not encouraged this in my life.

"Creative is a God-given ability to take something ordinary and make it into something special. It is an openness to doing old things in new ways and a willingness to adapt other people's good ideas to suit our personal needs. And creativity is an ability we all possess, although many of us keep it hidden in the deep corners of our lives.
Every single human being is creative. The creative spirit is part of our Heritage of the One who created all things. And nurturing our creativity is part of our responsibility as stewards of God's good gifts.
Creativity is so much more than "arts and crafts." It is a way of seeing, a willingness to see wonderful possibilities in something unformed or ordinary or even ugly."

So why the big buildup.

Well my question is.. When does an idea you have seen or read or heard about from somewhere else become your own?

I know in the blogging world most of us are very careful to link to those ideas we get from other blogs. We even link to books we have read or talk about the people who gave us ideas. All this is good and I believe necessary to give credit where it is due. however my question is after having done this when does this idea cease to be someone elses and become my own.

Is it when I have used it a number of times? Is it when I change it to suit my own family or life situation? Or does it never become mine and I must always refer to it as .........'s idea.

Why am I making a big deal out of this you may ask?

Well as I explained many of the ideas I have had for our family has been gleaned elsewhere.

As I began thinking about this I could see quite clearly that some of the "trademarks" that I have  gotten from the Emily Barnes Books I have, not just the one above.

Or any of the other books I bought years ago on 'Creating Family memories.'

I have used them so long that it wasn't until I though about it that I recognised that I have some of these 'trademarks' from these sources. I have called these ideas my own for many years also as I took them on board.

I think it is a bit like a favourite family recipe. Was it someone else's originally or did you make it up? Did great granny pass it on but you have modified it to suit your own taste and it still great grannies?

Now here is where you may disagree with me. I believe that once you introduce any of these creative ideas into your family after having acknowledged the source initially that you now can claim that idea as your own.


BUT is it! HOW can it not be you may I ask.

Let me try to explain my ideas~
First off many of the things I am talking about are usually Liturgical Year ideas or Homeschooling ones or even crafting ideas.

In following the Liturgical year most of us are trying to live our lives in harmony with the Church's calender. Filling our hearts, minds and souls with the fullness of our Heritage and imparting this onto our children so that they can also live their lives with the knowledge and love for our Lord and the Church he started on earth.

Many of us try to implement ways of making these days memorable for our families and our selves. We feast and we fast, we develop a love for certain Saints and we commemorate the most special of our Church's days, Sunday, Christmas and Easter.

Now many of you may be fortunate to have grown up with a cultural and traditional heritage that was passed down from family to family. You may have had a very rich culture that you were a part of during your life.

How blessed you are!!

And because of this you have many traditions and ideas you claim as your own, but following the claim above - that you have to create it completely on your won to actually own it I tend to disagree.

Now what I am suggesting is that they are no more yours than if I were to claim them (after acknowledgment of course) after having implemented them into my home.

My home is different to yours and my circumstances are different to yours so even though you and I may start with the same Idea it will be my own tradition and your own tradition. Each created to suit the individual families and the people within it.
So although we start with the same idea it will never be exactly the same.

Isn't that why we share our ideas any way?

Isn't that why we buy books on crafts, traditions and homeschooling ---so that we can use them and individualise this to our own families.
So why do we stress if someone else uses our ideas (once again after proper acknowledgment initially) and then adapt and use them for their own family, why do we get caught up in the MY MY MY idea thing.

I would suggest we take a look at this quote I love from  Anne Shirley who once said "Imitation is the greatest form of flattery " and use it to our own advantage.

I once had a friend who wanted to keep all the knowledge she had as her own. If someone used any of her ideas she was very quick to let everyone know it was from her the idea came and from HER background. No one could have any good ideas except what we were allowed to duplicate from her.
There was a sense of you can never be as creative as me!

Did this inspire others to try to develop their own talents. NO it did not! Did it make the rest of us feel that we had no creative ideas or style to share that others might like. Did it encourage us to search for those personal ideas that we could develop in our own lives.
Sadly no! And sadly this relationship also ended due to jealousy and envy.

I suggest that we are all creative and I would hate to think that the ideas I share would dis-encourage others as they thought that I was so much better than them.

I adore that as fellow bloggers we CAN recreate ideas that we find so useful or beautiful or fun into our own homes........and we can bring a measure of beauty that God intends us to have into our own lives.

If we share that idea we should be happy that others are inspired by that idea and that they can and would want to use and adapt it to suit their own situation.

I know that for many looking at what we can do  to improve our home life and make it more pleasant for our families we look to other people's  past family experiences, and perhaps for some of us to to bring into our homes new and rewarding experiences, I would like to remind all of us that we are creative because God created us so and that we all have the ability to see something and build on that idea to the benefit of all those we come into contact with.

Maybe not the same as others but in a new and original way for that particular person. Even though someone had already used it in that particular way it is new, it is creative for each and every person because as children of God we are all capable of using the gifts and talents we are given in the ways we see to bring beauty and truth and love into our homes.

Blessings to each and every one of you,


Erin said...

Excellent post, your 2nd post today that I'v added to 'shared items':)

I believe it becomes your idea once you have used and accepted it. Really doesn't take long for this to occur.

Gae said...

Dear Erin,
Well you and I talk about these things. It helps me put them in perspective.
Glad you liked both the posts.

Emily Fay said...

What an inspiring post! I grew up in a home that didn't have any traditions as well. I have had to make my own or "borrow" others ideas and then make them my own :). I think imitation is the highest form of flattery! :) Thank you for your post today!

Emily Fay

Sue Elvis said...

Hi Gae, I've been thinking about your post since I read it last night. There is a finite amount of matter in the world. It changes form and is used to make new things but we can never create more of it. Only God can do that. The same might be true of thoughts and ideas. We don't create new thoughts in the same way God can. All we do is transform, modify, add to... No idea is truly original. The truly original ideas belong solely to God. So ideas don't 'belong' to anyone but God. A lot of rambling, I know. I wonder if I have said anything that makes sense! Probably not but I love thinking and you give me lots of food for thought. Thank you.


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