Our bodies aren’t the only thing we can sell. There’s also our minds. Despite our proud insistence about being free, we’re selling our minds almost every day. And sometimes for only pennies a thought!
Consider the facts. Every day you and I scan the papers…catch the news on TV or the Net…read a book or magazine… maybe get into a discussion at the local barbershop or beauty salon. Each a perfectly free exchange of ideas, right? Maybe. Actually, in most cases we’ve just sold a prized piece of our mind for the last loudest idea we just read or heard.
The news from China….? What the hell do you and I really know except what some reporter has told us! The latest clash in Washington…? Admit it, we can’t be sure about thousands of pages of legislation and lobbying, so we take the best-sounding opinion from the nightly news or our favorite blog! Steven Spielberg’s newest film…? Mitt Romney’s freshest quote…? the mayor or the school superintendent or the Broadway show playing downtown…? Before we can pronounce “first-amendment,” we’re paraphrasing what we just heard and claiming the idea as our own.
See how it works? We don’t start the day offering up our minds for a price. Our minds simply gravitate toward the best-sounding by-passer. And then — like the hooker on the street — we curl up around their ideas and lead them up the stairs of our own thoughts.
Not a crime. Although very likely an unconscious calculation. Selling a little corner of my mind in exchange for an idea that I can now boast during that next golf game, cocktail hour, dinner party or chat with the boss. Getting our best ideas like this used to be called plagiarizing. Now it’s simply called being informed…
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