Skip past this post if you're looking for Wizard101 news or tips; this is going to be something a bit different here, but it's something I feel compelled to say to the community as a whole. I apologize in advance for being so serious. Don't worry, I'll be my light-hearted self again in no time. :-) I may be opening up a can of worms here, but . . . incoming wall of text!
I am a very forgiving person--probably to a fault. I know that I've made a lot of mistakes in my life and if it weren't for people forgiving me, I'd be in a much different (and worse) situation than I am in today. I've been blessed by being surrounded by such loving and understanding individuals.
I truly try to have an open mind and heart about the people around me and I try to look for the good in everybody. I've been called naive for this. But when is the last time you met someone who was truly evil? Most are just a bit misguided or inexperienced or jaded . . . maybe in need of some direction . . . maybe just a bit lazy.
It is so easy to lock someone out, and it is so hard to put yourself through the fire of a hard relationship to find the diamond in the person. Believe me, there are a few people I've met in this game that I'd like to punch in the face for their arrogance and lack of concern. But yet, most of the time there's something more there inside of them that's just waiting to be discovered. You have to have restraint to do this. You have to find the will to be the better "you." And, yes, there are days where I'm not the best "me" I can be.
I have to tell you that the nature of my day time job is that sometimes I must be ultra-critical and precise. It's what I get paid to do. You have no idea the pains (when the occassion calls for it) I take to be absolutely perfect in my day job. Some days I leave work with a headache from the sheer intense focus I've had to maintain. Some days when I have finally finished editing a document, I feel like I have lived in it, fixed the place up, and had a couple kids there.
Some in my profession let that critical nature leak over into everything they do. They criticize and judge and try to perfect everything at every time. I don't do that. I know, instead, that it's the flaws in a diamond that make it beautiful, and that nothing you publish will ever be 100 percent error free. This is why I never comment when I see a misspelled word or an improperly placed comma or even when the English language is completely slaughtered at my doorstep when I'm off the clock. You're all safe with me in that regard. (and hopefully I don't get judged for my dangling modifiers and abuse of ellipses too harshly as well.)
I see a bit of sadness in people who will not forgive others for their mistakes . . . who miss the meat for the color of the texture . . . who miss the motivation behind the mishap.
I sincerely hope that when I screw up (and I will screw up time and time again) that my readers and supporters and cohorts will forgive me and keep coming back and help and guide me like they have been (I really appreciate it). I am nowhere near perfect and never have been.
So here's a plea from me to you fellow Wizard101 writers/sites/players/etc.: if and when you know you've wronged someone, try to make it right and ask for forgiveness. If and when someone has wronged you and they ask you for forgiveness, try to turn the other cheek and invite them to try again. These days the world is too dark to snuff out anyone's candle. From where I'm sitting, Wizard101 needs all its supporters, even the ones that may appear misguided or inexperienced or jaded on the surface. (notice I didn't say skeptical--because that's not where I'm going with this.)
Now, switching gears, I have a few things to say on to the subject of creative commons copyright. I've noticed in our little community we haven't specifically been saying anything like HEY, MY STUFF IS PROTECTED BY CREATIVE COMMONS COPYRIGHT SO DON'T STEAL IT WITHOUT LINKING BACK TO ME OR GIVING ME CREDIT AND NO! YOU MAY NOT USE THIS INFORMATION FOR PERSONAL GAIN! We've, for the most part, been very civil and respectful, and I hope people just know that it's a given around here. I have heard some rumblings that, in all our thirst for blogging content (which we live and die by), a blogger here or there may be snagging stuff off of other Wizard101 related sites (not mine) and claiming it as their own. This is not cool. Don't jump to conclusions just yet, I'm not pointing anyone out here.
Keep in mind that if you're a blogger, there's a good chance you will be a reporter of sorts . . . a reporter of whatever you choose. Your life, Your friends' lives, the happenings in the arena, etc. As a reporter you are perfectly in the clear to quote people. But if you don't cite your sources, you're plagiarizing plain and simple. And that WILL get you in trouble with the community.
I highly HIGHLY suggest that we all keep it civil, and if you know you're at fault . . . change what you're doing, go back and edit any offending post, add credit where credit is due, and blatantly ask for forgiveness. I'm pretty hopeful the community will understand and move on. If we all need to tighten up by putting the creative commons symbols up on our websites, then we will. We haven't in the past, but we're growing . . . and with that comes growing pains.
In the words of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure: BE EXCELLENT TO EACH OTHER! If we can do that, we will continue to grow and succeed, my friends.
Thank you for your time and Happy Dueling!