Ask Joey: Don’t steal these words

Joey Garcia

My friends steal stuff I say or write and then post it on Facebook. I see the cool comments other people make about my words, but I never get credit. One friend started using something I said as her email signature line. When I pointed this out, she blew me off, saying there are no original thoughts anymore. I tried to talk to someone else about including my name if she is quoting me in Facebook posts. She said she wasn’t sure if someone said it to her or if she read it somewhere. I am really pissed and don’t understand why they think it’s OK.

Oh, honey! Your friends aren’t thinking, at least not in the reflective, intentional manner you apparently expect. They are at the mercy of their minds. For most people, thoughts are like wild mustangs thundering through their inner desert. These individuals don’t realize that their job is to corral those thoughts, lasso the most intimidating ones and domesticate them. Few people learn to slow themselves down enough to befriend thoughts. Most people are so overwhelmed by the hyperbusy life they have created, they assume that whatever pops up in their minds is valid. Yes, even if it’s an invitation to plagiarize.

Plagiarism is rooted in the Latin word for kidnapping. Stealing someone’s words or ideas is like kidnapping a part of that person. And that explains why you feel so upset. When your friends fail to acknowledge your concerns, resentment grows. Without excusing your friends’ unkindness (or amnesia), you must understand that the Internet is still an electronic frontier where lawlessness reigns. You can’t control the Internet or your friends. You can only admit that your strong emotions point to something you must attend to: creativity. You long to be in the spotlight, so tie yourself to a desk and pump a novel out on your laptop. Play with watercolors. Or register for a comedy class at Take action to engage with the drive within you to express your unique perspective on the world.

Do you think it’s possible to love more than one soul mate at a time? I have two right now and want to be with both of them. Is that possible?

It’s possible to have two soul mates, one platonic and one not. It’s also conceivable to have two platonic soul mates. But if you are trying to give all of yourself—mind, body, spirit—to one person with whom you share an extraordinarily deep understanding and acceptance, can you turn around and engage like that with someone else? Not if you care to have relationships grounded in emotional, mental and spiritual health.

I lost my job and started my own business providing consulting services. I have met other consultants who appear very successful, and that appearance of success gets them clients. As I get to know these consultants, I have learned that the money that pays for their lifestyle comes from second mortgages, spousal and child support or family money and not from their consulting. I provide better services, but drive an older model car and don’t wear designer labels. How do I get people to see value instead of flash so they hire me instead?

Focus on the value you bring to consulting, not on pointing out that the appearance of material success is not evidence of real accomplishment. You may have fewer clients, but when those business owners reap real bottom-line results from your guidance, your business will grow through word-of-mouth recommendations. As it does, take care not to judge the other consultants who have bought into the belief that image is everything. They don’t know any better; you do. Let that be your advantage.

Meditation of the week
When asked to specify his religion, Gandhi said: “The way I live my life, the things I do every day, this is my religion.” How do you express your faith?

Our content is free, but not free to produce

If you value our local news, arts and entertainment coverage, become an SN&R supporter with a one-time or recurring donation. Help us keep our reporters at work, bringing you the stories that need to be told.


Stay Updated

For the latest local news, arts and entertainment, sign up for our newsletter.
We'll tell you the story behind the story.