These Fundamental Truths Will Make You a Better Person Tomorrow
Thomas Oppong

When you simply parrot other people’s work (under the guise of curation, I suppose), it can, unless you’re very careful, result in a strange juxtaposition of ideas.

For example, you start off one section with a quote that endorses impatience, but then immediately follow-up with pointers that require a good degree of patience and emotional intelligence (the latter of which seldom involves impatience). To wit:

‘“If you genuinely want something, don’t wait for it — teach yourself to be impatient, whilst,” says Gurbaksh Chahal.’

followed by

“People quit because it takes too long to see results. Because they can’t figure out that the process is sometimes the result. Nothing beats deliberate practice.”

At best, this juxtaposition sends a mixed — and confusing — message; at worse, it gives rise to the worst of people’s instincts. (Bear in mind, too, that in contemporary society, we’ve been conditioned, by our technology in particular, to expect near instantaneous results.)

Not all people quit when it takes too long to see the desired results. Patient people may persist. Impatient people, however, oftentimes get frustrated and stoop to taking shortcuts; circumventing laws, ethics, and rules; or dispense with the idea of maintaining their integrity and, by default, the integrity of the society or community in which they reside.

Still another problem with dispensing these seemingly universal truths is that many are really context-driven — some are not even remotely universal. In one context they make work well, while in another they could be quite detrimental (for instance, turning the other cheek when someone intends to kill you might not be a good idea. However, turning the other cheek to avoid being equally petty in a devolving disagreement could be a good idea.)

When you pull these ideas out of somebody else’s work and present them in isolation, there’s a good chance you’ve removed the context the original author intended for lending a perspective as to how, when and why they apply. In essence, you’ve suddenly misapplied them by omitting the associated information that qualifies their use.

What’s worse, you’ve robbed the reader of having cognitive/intellectual access to the original intent of the author. This can happen in more ways than one.

In the case of the Gurbaksh Chahal quote, you offer no other information about who he/she is or what makes him/her a credible source of such advice. Why should I consider this insightful?

Additionally, if the author thought this quote would suffice as a stand alone sentiment, he or she wouldn’t have written anything more about it. But I’d be willing to wager much more was written to either justify it or give it essential meaning and definition.

There’s more to good curation than meets the eye — in part because you’ve also become both an editor and arbiter of that information.

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