Publisher’s Corner: You Gotta Have Heart!

February is the Heart Month. We celebrate by handing out valentines and reading helpful tips about heart health. And you will find many such informative articles in this issue of The Healthy Planet. I was wondering lately about the heart of our nation. I have always thought that what sets us aside from so many other countries is our history of a collective heart. Our nation has always fought human rights violations around the globe including those of civil rights here in our own country. Our Constitution was based on creating liberty and inalienable rights for our citizens, which so many had been denied in their country of origin before immigrating to America. The Constitution is a document with great heart and it has helped shape our collective consciousness over the years. And when our country felt some heartache over new questions about all people being created equal, we adopted new amendments and our nation’s heart grew larger and stronger. In these troubling times, we are feeling the chest pains of politics. So many people are finding it easier to display their feelings of hatred and bigotry. Some people don’t believe that we are all created equal. Their hearts are small and filled with pain. They may feel they have been forgotten and lost in a society so infused with political discourse. I sometimes wonder how we got here, to this place where our leaders lack the heart it takes to lead. And then it hit me, we have become desensitized to their reality-show shananagans. Oh, we don’t like it, the Left does this and the Right does that, and yes, it makes us all angry. So we thought we pulled the plug on the swamp. And that decision got us to where we are today. No heart for immigrants and asylum seekers, no heart for the environment, no heart for gun violence, no heart for health care. Politics has been around for a very long time, and it has been quite nasty at times. But at the end of the day, two adversaries in Congress used to sit down and have a beer together. Today compromise is a dirty word. It takes heart (and guts) to compromise because you have to actually “give” something to “get” something. I often ask myself, why are there people who support leaders without heart, and I can only imagine that they must be so afraid of losing their liberties and rights — the same liberties and rights they would deny others. So many have filled their hearts with fear and disdain. I don’t think the answer is simple or easy. The country has severe heart disease and it will take a strict diet of understanding and compromise for us to pull together. After a period of rehab and consilliation, I know we can bounce back. But if the treatment does not lead to a healthy recovery for all, and our nation’s heart does not beat collectively strong again, perhaps it’s time to find a new medical team.

You Gotta Have Heart, J.B. Lester; Publisher