And that wisdom would be, Do your homework!
I came across some lesson for life this week, that I thought were pretty cool. (Still do.)
And, thinking them to be original to my source, I asked his permission to reprint them here. He agreed. They were purportedly given by a dying man to my source in person. He posted them on a limited access LinkedIn discussion group. I copied them to this post, really pleased with myself.
It hadn’t crossed my mind to check for duplicate content elsewhere on the net. So much for my journalistic skills.
Turns out the words of wisdom didn’t belong to my source at all. As point out by an old friend of mine, the words were originally posted by Regina Brett in 2001 when she turned 45, and expanded in 2006 when she turned 50. No deathbed, no dying man, in fact no man at all, but a woman, and a live one at that.
I’d failed to do my homework, albeit negligently. A check for duplicate content on the web reveals no less than 21 links containing the same content. Snopes has the real source and story documented.
So Yours Truly has had his ego chastened (quite rightly) and his confidence in the human race slightly shaken. My apologies to Regina Brett for inadvertently using her material. That’s the last time I use anyone else’s material, even with the best of intentions and all permissions given.
Hopefully the individual who passed the material on to me as his own feels similarly.
Regina’s words of wisdom are still really cool, and worth a read and a reflection. Do it. Tops marks to you, Regina.