If You Believe This One....

This was how Neale Donald Walsch, best-selling author of the "Conversations with God" books, explained how he happened to lift a story verbatim from another author.

Mr. Walsch now says he made a mistake in believing the story was something that had actually come from his personal experience...

“All I can say now — because I am truly mystified and taken aback by this — is that someone must have sent it to me over the Internet ten years or so ago,” Mr. Walsch wrote. “Finding it utterly charming and its message indelible, I must have clipped and pasted it into my file of ‘stories to tell that have a message I want to share.’ I have told the story verbally so many times over the years that I had it memorized ... and then, somewhere along the way, internalized it as my own experience.” In a telephone interview, Mr. Walsch, 65, who said he regularly gave 10 to 20 speeches a year, said he had been retelling the anecdote in public as his own for years. “I am chagrined and astonished that my mind could play such a trick on me,” he said.

So much for the Responsibility Era. My mind made me do it.


Blogger Bill Karwin said...

We need more "poka-yoke" habits. That's the Japanese word for "idiot-proofing."

For example, when one shares a charming and indelible anecdote, introduce it by attributing its source -- every time you retell it. Maybe that would help easily-distracted folks like Mr. Walsch remember that it isn't his own personal anecdote.

But maybe I'm just old-fashioned!

January 7, 2009 at 9:51 PM  

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