Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Being your best self: Curation

I know that I seem to constantly come back to my goals and attempts to improve myself.
I hope that it's helpful to see how much of a task it is, something that must be constantly brought into awareness with purpose.

Part of being the best version of yourself is curation. I mean curation in two ways
  1. Exhibiting the best parts of yourself
  2. Silencing the worst parts of yourself
So here's a bit of part 2

Curation and Honesty

Geek x Girls has a comic about part two. The Three-A-Negroes has a whole section on their podcast for times people have failed at part two.
I think we're all familiar with this in professional environments.

Maybe we love to sit on our couch at home, sprawled out in our jammies as we stuff chocolate into our mouth. But we're not going to do that while in the middle of an interview or a conference at work. That's not dishonestly. That's simply comporting ourselves appropriately for our goals and the situation at hand.
I think most people have had at least one friend who uses honesty as a front to say hurtful things. As the comic points out, when this hurtful friend does have something meaningful or constructive to say, we've gotten so used to tuning them out. Of course, we don't want to be that person!
We can translate this to our daily life. For example, writing this blog, I have drafted ranting complaining posts and then deleted them. I've curated content here that helps both readers and myself to have a positive look towards life. We can't move forward if we're constantly using our energy to look back and complain about how hard the journey is.

Curation and History

The Smithsonian American Art Museum (SAAM) had an exhibit that had a controversy around the curation. The exhibit, The West as America, gave an accurate if politically charged view of how America has represented itself and the westward expansion of white settlers into occupied Native lands. You can read more about the controversy at the SAAM here. 
While I wasn't at the SAAM while this happened, I did hear about the controversy. 
Whether the curator made the right choices about the exhibit, the institution has remembered the way the exhibit's honesty was perceived. The Smithsonian wisely has chosen to learn from the experience and controversy. Even when tackling politically charged issues such as the mistreatment of Indigenous people, the Smithsonian is careful to portray the issue honestly and leave room for guests to have a positive experience of the museum. 
Again, being your best self doesn't mean hiding your morals or ignoring the truth. In those situations, rare and difficult, that a hard truth must be vocalized, your best self will find a way to curate a positive message.