Friday, June 8, 2012

If you know it, pass it on -- Challenging "Information hoarding"

A semi-drunken rambling post...

I was talking to my friend Jesse the other day about a child he was helping who appears to have a condition similar to my son D.  The information I gave him has helped him cement his role and help his charge.  At the time, after spending a while messaging Jesse, I turned around to hubby and explained I had been chatting to a friend about PDA and my comment was, "If you have the information, you should pass it on".  I was then struck by the fact that this isn't how we are meant to operate.

Knowledge is power.  Knowledge is wealth and knowledge should be saved.  I have friends who don't like doing pro-bono work because it get's them into a mucky mire of "owing/being at liberty to others" without any compensation.  They have worked hard to get to the position they are in.  It has taken them time and money to get where they are.  As such they should be compensated accordingly.  Feelings of being "taken advantage of" or "being worth less" than if they charged an appropriate fee.  I get it. I do.

Actually, no.  I don't get it.

You see, I don't prescribe to the usual "you make your bed" mentality.  I feel our world is a community and we should be a part of it.

Yes, I have spent time and effort to understand the issues I do.  The path looking after an ASD child has been seven years in the making and possibly thousands of dollars of trial and error.  My road to barefoot running took over three years of research and hundreds of hours practising.  I have experience and knowledge that probably exceeds the man on the street and if the man on the street wants a quick fix on my knowledge then he should pay for the privilege. Right?

Should our world be limited to dimes and cents?  Should we sacrifice the benefit we can offer to others just because they don't have the finances to pay for it?  Is the knowledge and experience mine and mine alone?

The fact is I am just a part of the chain in knowledge.  I may have learnt via my own experiences, but I also learnt from the experiences of others.  Their knowledge was given for a nominal fee (if any payment was paid at all).  Is it right I should take the information they gave to me for free and then call it my own to distribute as I feel fit?

No. It isn't.

The information inside your head isn't just yours.  It belongs to a mirad of people.  You take parts of someone's else consciousness and you meld into yours. Okay, if you went to college you probably paid for a lot of it -- but likewise some of it you didn't.

I get that we all have to eat.  We all need to put bread on the table and wine in our bellies.  There will be times where we have to charge a fee for what we are able to do.  There are times when the use of the information in our grey matter holds us accountable.  If you are a lawyer, the advice you give can mean the liberty of the person you are helping.  That is a huge responsibility and yes, when you take ownership of someone elses' life you should be compensated for that.

I am a spiritual (although not religious) person.  Some will call it fatalistic or naive.  That's not quite true.  I believe we are the masters of our own destiny.  I don't rely on someone else to make my life better, that is for me to do.  However, I do believe that there are times where you are given opportunities that make your life better and they are a result of the actions you have done.  Some call it karma, some call it "paying it back -- or forward, or sidewards, whatever" -- regardless, you get paid for what you do in this life, it's just not monetary.

I'll happily accept and use the information people pass onto me for no other reason that they want to help.  Sometimes the help is useful, sometimes it isn't.  However, very rarely have I met someone who passed on information without an honorable intent.  I'll take parts of what they have taught me and I'll use it.  It becomes a part of me.  As payment, I pay it forward.  I'll then pass my information on.  I accept some of it will be used and some of it won't.

There is no agenda -- I don't want money or power or privilege.  I just want to help someones' path be a little easier.

There are only so many people in this world.  Granted six billion people is a lot.  It's not like you can invite everyone to your barbecue and imagine you can fit them on your small patio.

Yet, if I help two people today -- even in small ways, then it stands to reason, that tomorrow they in turn will help two others (each).  I was never very good a maths, but I reckon, sooner or later that small payback will come back to me some way or another.

Tomorrow, or next week, or next year, I will learn something more that will make my families life better.  The cycle grows and starts all over again.

I have to admit I am not sure where I was going with this post when i started it.  It's a drunken rambling and I guess I should just call it as such.  I just think this idea of "Information hoarding" doesn't help us in the end.  Our deeds get passed on exponentially by others.

I vaguely remember Jason saying in a post (a long time ago) about knowledge being a gift.  I wish I was sober enough to find the post, but anyway... it's true.

This blog and my life is a gift where ever and when ever it's needed.  Feel free to take the information you need and don't be afraid to leave the parts you don't.  Live happy and gift your knowledge on.

And no, you can't have the receipt and exchange it for a multi use blender! *rolls eyes*

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