From time to time I send emails to Nancy and our kids. Links to videos, links to articles. I’m trying to encourage them, make them smile, remind them of things that matter to us all. My dad used to do the same thing, only he made photocopies and used stamps.
I realized the other day that I’m being a curate.
Scott Simon worried about the word “curate” showing up too often in too trivial of a way. He quoted a museum curator who said, “real curating entails truly taking care of, and taking stock of, something original or valuable.” (Simon, NPR).
A curate, in an old sense, is someone who is charged with the care of souls. When I send out those family emails, when I write here, I am curating. I hope that I am sharing what is of value. And in that sense, real curating is not sharing videos and stories and cartoons, but taking care of people. Original valuable people.
Every time we share something, we are not just sorting through content, we are shaping the lives of the people we are sharing it with. If we share a constant stream of trivia, we run the risk of trivializing the value of the attention of others. If we start from wanting to shape souls, to encourage hearts, to strengthen relationships, we will share in a very different way.
Paul wrote to some friends with this sense of curating souls:
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.