Why is it that when it comes to researching our family histories, we all seem to lose our sensibilities? Whatever happened to the basic rules of sociability that we all learned in Kindergarten? Remember these?
1.) Play Fair - there's plenty of room in the sandbox for everyone. There's no need to throw mud at others who are also trying to make a living in genealogy. While there might be some who are better known in a particular field, it doesn't mean others can't also be good in that same sector or niche. It's not ok to talk badly about others just because they, too, understand the same things you do and want to help others know them too.
2.) Share - when you learn something new, show others. When you are successful by using a new tool or new technique, show others. When new opportunities arise, show others. It won't take away from your success. It will make the genealogy community a better place.
3.) Don't take things that aren't yours - sharing and stealing are not the same thing. If you don't have permission to take it or use it, it is considered stealing. If you didn't research to find that document, it isn't yours to claim. If you didn't create that family tree by hard work and good detective work, it isn't yours. If you didn't write that book, then the look-ups you offer to others, aren't yours to share. If you didn't research that talk, the slides aren't yours to share. The fact that the big boys in the database world turn a blind eye to stealing in the name of profit doesn't make it right either. If you don't have permission to take it or use it, it is considered STEALING. Don't take things that aren't yours.
4.) Don't hit people - when a new comer is just learning and says or writes something inaccurately, don't hit them where it hurts. Don't publicly shame them. Be nice. Treat them the way you would want to be treated if you were in their shoes. Be gentle, considerate and respectful. Help them. Don't hit them.
5.) Clean up your mess - when you can't follow the other rules and play fair in the sandbox, clean up your mess. How? Easy.....
6.) Say "sorry" - and mean it