"Follow your heart", more than any other phrase, was the guiding principle for the children of the 1960s. It was this misguided principle that they subsequently inculcated in their children, thereby condemning them to lives of undue frustration and adversity. The drug addict follows his heart to abandoning everything good in his life for the sake of pursuing his addiction. The pregnant teen followed her heart when she participated in the conception of the child within her. The obese over-eaters follow their hearts to a life-style that leads to diabetes, heart disease and eventual death. Prisons are full of people who have followed their hearts.
The heart will always lead one astray, because the human heart doesn't want that which is sensible nor productive. The heart is ruled by emotion, thereby making it incapable of reason or the ability to see consequences for behavior. Even when it comes to those things traditionally assigned to the heart, like compassion, charity and love, the heart will not yield the best of results. The person who gives the homeless drug addict or alcoholic a few dollars because their heart tells them to do so, is not helping the addict or themselves. They may have an immediate feeling of self worth and well being for engaging in a charitable act, but intellectually they know the addict will use the money to buy more alcohol or drugs, thereby perpetuating the squallier in their life. The heart will also mislead when it comes to love. How many people have followed their hearts into bad marriages, when they knew intellectually from the outset that their potential mate was not right for them. The heart is what informs someone that through marriage they will "change" their potential mate's bad habits or character flaws.
It is my assessment that our country has engaged in policies of the heart that have put us in debt and have made the intended beneficiaries of those policies more dependent. Dependence is never healthy, either for the dependent or those upon whom they depend. The simple explanation is that independence is the key to happiness. People who are not self-reliant are much less likely to be happy. Happiness is dependent on doing the things in life we may not want to, like going to work everyday, saving money or telling our children "no" when we know in the short-term they may not like us very much. In other words, the glow of instant gratification fades almost as instantly and the heart needs to manufacture a new object of pursuit. Lest we forget that the road to ruin is not paved with reason from the intellect but good intentions from the heart.
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