By Lindsay Bell
For those of you new to this series, The Three Things arrives in your inbox on Sunday mornings (unless you don’t subscribe, but that can easily be fixed if you hurry over and enter your email address or add to your RSS feed) so you have some extra time to spend perusing the obscure content we’ve curated for you (and one another) before your week begins and deadlines, meetings, and work takes over.
Today we explore digital thievery, whether creativity and deceitfulness go hand in hand, and the terrible toll that divorce can take on some families, especially when religion is tossed into the mix.
Clay on Digital Thievery. Or is it? The image is powerful. A Marine hands Christian Golczynski an American flag at his father, Staff Sgt. Marcus Golzynski’s, funeral. The photo was taken by Aaron Thompson who was a staff photographer at The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro, the same paper where I served as executive editor and general manager.
[Photo by Aaron Thompson, courtesy of The Daily News Journal).
My tenure was a few years after the photo was taken, but hardly a week went by that I didn’t have to “deal” with it. Usually this meant telling the owner of some website or Facebook page to take the photo down as they were using it without permission. Everyone from anti-war groups to pro-veteran groups, and even thieves trying to steal from people who wished to support the families of fallen veterans were using the image without permission. Imagine my surprise at driving up Interstate 24 in Nashville and seeing it on a billboard.
The irony is that all these uses (and some did give credit while others did not) probably gave the photographer and his work more exposure than the DNJ on its own could give.
It does raise the question of what if something you’ve created goes viral, but it’s viral from other sites, and therefore not directing traffic back to you?
Joe on How we Perceive Creativity, Risk, and Thinking Outside the Box. When I was in my sophomore year of high school I read William G. Perry’s famous essay on cow and bull [.PDF]. In it he describes a Harvard student who on a whim took an exam for a class he did not attend. The student, who was never identified publicly, received average to low marks for the factual (or “cow”) part of the test, but received an A+ for the essay section.
It raises an interesting proposition. Entrepreneurs in some ways are similar to artists, musicians, writers, etc… We love to test and tinker, and learn not just how things work but also how they could be different, regardless of the supposed facts of the situation.
This type of creativity often requires that we suspend our disbelief and judgment about what’s not real. I found this study about deceitfulness and creativity curious because while I don’t recommend dishonesty as a regular practice, it does suggest that we accept things for fact that we shouldn’t. I suspect that part of the challenge of thinking differently means we have to accept that even the most serious of theories is often still just a theory, and can be disproven.
Lindsay on the Toll That Divorce Takes. Yeah, divorce sucks. I’ve been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. In my case, I instigated it, and I still lay awake some nights, when I can’t fall asleep, and go over moments from the day my son’s father moved out of our home, and the upset that day brought to my then 7 year old boy’s life. Guilt is a powerful thing. But most of us who’ve been through it know in our hearts that it was “for the best”.
In our case, my son’s dad has remained a powerful and influential figure in his life, we have 50/50 custody, and – though it wasn’t always a walk in the park – our goal was to be there for our son, and to not bring our personal bring pain or upset into his relationship with either parent. Now, almost eight years later, we still hang out, and co-parent like pros.
But it’s not always like that for some people. Throw religion into the mix, and you have a powerful and damaging “other level” to negotiate through. As the author of this piece notes, “To get divorced was to shatter the wishful belief that to be Orthodox was to shield yourself from the discontent and disappointment that invaded marriages in the outside world.” This is a powerful read. And I applaud the bravery required from the author to stay true to herself. Because, as we all know, life is all too short. And at most, we should aspire to be happy while we dance on this mortal coil.
Now it’s your turn. Is there a book, podcast, article, TV show, blog post, or story we should read?