Well, they don’t have to share ideas. But I found a children’s television show, of all things, that demonstrated very clearly that copying an idea isn’t the same as stealing it.
My youngest daughter was watching Ni Hao, Kai-Lan on Nick Jr. tonight, and in one episode Kai-Lan and her friends make hats to wear in a parade. Rintoo (the tiger) has made a hat of flowers, twigs and pine cones, which Ho-Ho (the little monkey) copies almost exactly; the only difference is that Ho-Ho’s hat has two pine cones while Rintoo’s has three. When Rintoo sees Ho-Ho’s hat, he yells at Ho-Ho to take the hat off, and then stomps off and says he doesn’t want to be in the parade anymore because he wanted his hat to be “special”, and that no one else should have a hat like it.
So Kai-Lan takes Rintoo to a bakery where Mr. Fluffy (the baker mouse) has baked a special cake for the parade, only to find out another friend has baked a cake just like it because she liked how it looked. Rather than become angry, Mr. Fluffy is very happy that someone liked his cake so much that they wanted to copy it. So Rintoo learns that there’s nothing wrong with Ho-Ho copying his hat. In fact Rintoo thinks his hat is even more special because Ho-Ho wanted one just like it. He even finds a third pine cone for Ho-Ho’s hat so they match exactly.
A gentle but effective lesson in how ideas can be shared without hurting anyone else.
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