April 10, 2012


My blog post for St. Patrick’s Day celebrated the work of a friend who just published “A Celtic Yearbook.” The timing seemed right not only because the author is Irish, but also because she had suffered a couple of daunting surgeries, one after the other. I hoped the tribute might cheer her up. Wondering what else I might do, I decided to write a review on for her Amazon page. After framing several compliments, I clicked the submission button only to discover I was confronted by another question. Amazon wanted to know if I wished to attach her site to another product.

(courtesy: www.123rf.com)

Not understanding, I hit the tab to receive more information. Apparently, I’d been given an opportunity to link my Amazon page for “Gothic Spring” to the one for “A Celtic Yearbook.”

At first I was against the idea. Hadn’t I abandoned politics because promoting myself was not how I wanted to live? Of course, that was before I took up writing. Now I realize I am obliged to do more of the same. But are there rules to the game of self-promotion, I wondered. Was it right to piggyback on someone else’s page? 

In the end, I approved the link because the flow of traffic works both ways to our mutual advantages.

Nonetheless, I am amazed at how often life poses challenges that require us to check our moral compass. The Amazon link was one of those. My intention was simply to do something nice for a friend. Was it right to “cash in” on that good intention? In the end, I did. Still, I’m glad I paused to consider the matter. We may succeed in fooling others about our motives, but we cannot fool ourselves and there is always a cost when we try.