Is It Still A Wonderful Life?

Before I start this blog, I have to say that the title for this theme came from Sojourner’s Magazine and I did not think up the title myself. Nor am I using that title for monetary gain. It is what I was thinking this week when the latter part of my week involved a lot of emails back and forth with the Online Executive Editor of Runner’s World Magazine. Here is something else I need to say right away, I love Runner’s World Magazine and this blog has nothing to do with my feelings about the magazine.
My feelings come specifically from the first and subsequent emails that I got from the Online Executive Editor. The first began, “You appear to be hosting copyrighted content from RunnersWorld.com without our permission, on these pages ______________. I looked at the articles and they were all years old, but I immediately complied. I did not like it and indicated my displeasure when I put on each page, “It’s a shame, but I have to remove this article”. My displeasure grew and the more I thought about it, it just didn’t make sense. Each article had a link to either sell Runner’s World Magazine or to the Runner’s World website and I was not benefiting in any way. I was just presenting information about running for people who wanted to read it and anybody who did read the article knew that it was coming from Runner’s World (and of course, the author who wrote it).

Now all of you hardliners are thinking, “But it is copyrighted and you shouldn’t be using it”. Well, I wasn’t using it, I was presenting it and making it available for people to read. I found out later that none of the articles appear on Runner’s World anymore and so (it is a mute point and no one else is complaining, namely the author) I couldn’t use the Editor’s suggestion to link to the article (his compromise). My compromise was to put this as the credit for each article (the author would change):

by Hal Higdon
Visit Runner’s World Online
We inspire and enable people to improve their lives and the world around them

Well, that didn’t fly either and it ended up that I was deemed, “patronizing, hostile, immature, or some combination thereof”. Those words are what made me think about writing a blog with a title from a Sojourner’s Magazine sitting on my desk – “Is It Still a Wonderful Life” – and use the caption underneath (and I will, God forbid, paraphrase it to say), “Building a [world] on the old values of generosity, compassion and community”. Now that all of the conservatives are leaving my blog because I have a liberal Christian magazine on my desk (notice I said on my desk and not that I was reading it), let it be known that I donate to one liberal Christian organization, one conservative Christian organization, have been baptized into three different religions and have a black wrist band that says, “I did not vote for Bush”, so that I have all of my bases covered just in case.

In my mind, and I will always think the same way, it doesn’t matter if you are liberal or conservative, what race or religion or nationality you are, the fundamental values of generosity, compassion and community should apply. And whether I am talking about some old running articles or our interactions with other human beings, why don’t we all try to live like they did in the movie (an absolute must see), It’s A Wonderful Life” and all be generous, compassionate and live in a community that exalts those values…

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