Young Roots

Plagiarism here and now

By Johanne Margarette R. Macob

WHEN I entered college, the very tenets instilled to us were that of “Honor and Excellence”. Honor first before excellence, for without the former, the latter is worthless; as a word without an action or an action sans emotion.

I remember then that the very first note given to us was about plagiarism, stressing that the university condemns any form of it. We should honor our work as well as others’ work. Otherwise, we will suffer from two things: a failing grade and a failing reputation.

As many of us know, one of our senators is struggling over the issue of plagiarism. Senator Vicente Sotto III has been accused, though he still has not admitted it. It is disappointing, especially for us the youth who have been taught that stealing other’s work is a mortal crime. Some students have been dropped out of college because of not properly citing the author/s of the ideas they lifted, some were seriously punished even at their first stab. And now, there is this senator who has been caught and still is denying. And worse, still isn’t properly penalized for the crime he committed. However, the senator is now suffering from the second type of reprimand, the more severe one, I believe.

It is sad knowing that sometimes, the people who are expected to be our “role models” fail to do what they are ought to be doing. They fall flat on their responsibilities and worse, commit grave misdeeds.

I have personally used and still am using a number of others’ ideas and words, but I have never and as much as I am aware of, will never plagiarize. I give credit to whomever those ideas came from.

It is good to be excellent but what matters is having honor while excelling. It all boils down to respect, both self-respect and respect to others. I hope other legislators as well as fellow ordinary citizens are taking note of what Fyodor Dostoyevsky once said, “Above all, don’t lie to yourself. The man who lies to himself and listens to his own lie comes to a point that he cannot distinguish the truth within him, or around him, and so loses all respect for himself and for others. And having no respect he ceases to love.”

We always have a choice.

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