Anonymous: (adj) a person not identified by name; unknown name.
Sometimes I stumble across an adage or poem that is particularly clever, insightful or even artistic, and at the bottom is the word “anonymous.”
Obviously, it’s not.
- Somebody wrote it.
- Somebody thought it.
- Somebody did it.
Yet over the years, a strange transition has occurred.
Here’s my opinion on that process: some person without an agent or an ego came up with an idea which he or she shared freely among friends.
One of those people realizes how obscure their companion is and feels compelled, on a journey to a far-away city, to share the inspiration. They are surprised at how responsive everyone is to the piece, and initially give credit to the friend who spoke it.
But then they think to themselves that since this buddy is never going to actually be in this far-away city, what would be the harm in taking bows for the composition?
Likewise, someone else in the room, who travels even further, decides to repeat the same process, stealing the thunder from the thief.
After a while, at a huge party somewhere far away, three or four people hear these words, and attribute it to several different individuals, generating an atmosphere of confusion.
Since no one is certain any longer who actually came up with the idea, it is determined to call it a draw and attribute it to Mr. or Mrs. Anonymous.
It also occurs in our everyday life in America. We have a nation of laws, regulations and general compliance within the citizenry, and believe that this temperate climate is achieved by human effort, never giving any credit to the spiritual training and the moral grounding that has been infused over generations.
We choose instead to attribute to religion or politics, and everything good is a by-product of our thinking or the latest craze.
In case you didn’t know, loving your neighbor as yourself is not anonymous.
If you weren’t aware, telling the truth did not spring from nothing.
Sometimes it’s a good idea to trace back great notions to their source, and therefore sit at the feet of wisdom instead of crinkling your brow … and pretending that the power that makes life work springs from magical four-leaf clovers.
Thank you for enjoying Words from Dic(tionary) — J.R. Practix