“The traditional role of the librarian and curator – to select what is to be preserved and ruthlessly weed out everything else – suddenly is obsolete.”

I read the above sentence in a book titled “Clock on the Long Now: Time and Responsibility. The Ideas Behind the World’s Slowest Computer” by Stewart Brand and it got me thinking about words like, curator, curate, curation and to cure.

If this word ‘curator’ really is obsolete, why don’t we bring it back, but from another perspective, like health.

Historically a curator is an overseer and/or manager who collects tangible objects and ‘stuff’, typically art, for a space, place, a dwelling, such as a museum.

What if ‘curator’, or ‘to curate’ was brought back for human health purposes?

It might look something like this:

1) You gather pieces of information and knowledge from reputable and intelligent sources

2) You put these pieces to good use in your body, pending what you need at the time

3) You see how it works, test it out, see what your body likes, doesn’t like

4) You makes changes as necessary, plan for the next week, the next month, the next year.

5) You openly and willingly get help and advice when needed from apropos folk, they will change based on your needs

Long term thinking and intelligent foresight lives here.

What distinguishes a good curator from a great curator?

A curator finds great art, puts it in the museum, observes how people like it, or don’t like it, they may make changes, then plan for the next show, the next season, the next year.  A good curator, I think, would take into account the entirety of the production down to the most finite detail. They do a good job.

A great curator would do all of the above, and they’d instinctually know when something is right or wrong before a mishap even occurs. Usually this is from experience, being in the game long enough and being keenly interested in the process at hand. They’d take the concept of flawless and seamless execution to a whole other level.

A great curator fixes before it even needs fixing! Human health should be the same.

People good at navigating their health know a lot and get by cleanly with little mishaps and bounce back from illness – are cured – relatively easily.

People great at navigating their health have all the above and this added bonus:

  1. They tap into their internal milieu. Daily. (not just 3x per week for one hour at pre-arranged times)
  2. They know what it means to really listen (can you sense your cells, how they affect those other cells around you – like the stranger sitting next to you?)
  3. They can sense a common cold before it even presents itself and they don’t curse it when it comes
  4. They instinctually alter their daily grooves (their routines and habits) to enhance their immunity
  5. They listen to their entirety (which is them + the world around them)
  6. They are in ‘curation’ mode. ALL THE TIME!

Word borrowing at its finest

Curator comes from the latin “cura” or to “cure”, so it’s more suited to health anyways, don’t you think?

Bring this word back, but from a health perspective, and you simply have a case of reverse engineering; rather than have the word “cure” be associated with illness – what you seek when you are in dire straits, sniffling, on your death bed etc. – we use the word to define a process of figuring out what is needed for optimal health to flourish, or as Brand writes, “select what is to be preserved and ruthlessly weed out everything else.”

Select, preserve and weed out the rest!

Good curation? Or great curation? That really is the question of the moment.

Which would you like to have?

As always, thanks for reading, Irene.