The Cost of Free
For God so loved the world that he Gave his one Son. Whoever believes in him will not die but have eternal life.
-Rev Melissa Fain-
"What do you mean, you are not giving people the page hits?" Years ago I was part of a blog collective. A writer was explaining how to link to someone else's work without giving them the page hits.
"Sometimes you want to reference someone else's work, but you don't want to give them the page hits, so they don't get paid because your referencing them." He was talking about ad revenue, which is often based on page hits.
"What about those sites that don't have ad revenue, like Fig Tree for example? Wouldn't it be better to let those sites know you are talking about them?"
I didn't get that answer during that conversation, but I would later in another context. Want that book deal? You need to rise above the rest. You have to prove you can get those page hits, and others can't. Also, some were taking the good ideas of smaller bloggers and rewording them as their own.
The bloggers that link are actually the good ones. There are others who reword the ideas of smaller bloggers and make them their own.
There was a conversation on Reddit. Someone had posted a morality question, "Can ministers take sermons from online and claim them as their own?"
I jumped all over it. "No!" I respond. I listed the many points I had listed in similar posts. I explained how using someone else's sermon is taking the Spirit's message to a different congregation and telling it to the wrong audience. I explained how it's lying to the very last group of people a minister should lie to. I finished with basically this:
"I'm an ordained minister. I owe a ton of money for that education. I share meditations for those who want to learn, but don't feel comfortable in a brick and mortar church. If a minister is stealing my message, and claiming it as his own, they are reaping the benefit of my education, and getting paid for it. My work; your pay."
After I shared that opinion Fig Tree's page hits visibly dropped.
"What isn't made in China?" I think to myself as I absentmindedly check for the stamp on a pair of shoes I just purchased. Finding what I was looking for on a little white tag, I take a breath out. Why do I care? It's not what you think. My $30 pair of shoes were a deal. If I went to the retail store they would have cost $50. Even at $50, they were good shoes.
In the United States we are arguing about raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour. What does that have to do with shoes? It's not exactly what you think. The fight for equal wage used to mean something. If we raised our minimum wage we would feel it in our goods and services. That's because our goods and services were made in America, so the cost of our goods and services raised too. What happens when most of the goods and services are made in a country where they don't have to increase minimum wage?
The person who made my shoes. I think about those workers. I think about those workers many of the times I purchase goods and services. What is their life like? How are they living so I can get a good deal on shoes?
The point of these three examples are this:
Every action has a cost.
Maybe you are paying it.
Maybe you are paying for someone else's action.
Maybe someone is paying for your action.
There is always a cost. Always.
Jesus gave all for us to have all. That was a choice he made. When people are forced into that choice outside their freewill, then it becomes wrong. It becomes very wrong. Yet, based on case studies we are very willing to hurt or take from someone who is faceless. 66% of us would push the button, or without a face looking on, make a morally less than worthy choice.