Sunday, January 02, 2011

Follow your spleen ~ By Patrice Lewis

So what to do when your internal organs conflict with each other?

The early Chinese felt the spleen was the central organ in charge of life-sustaining postnatal energy, directing the critical flow of nutrients to keep the body functioning. So in this absurd metaphor of organ function, I've decided to assign a new responsibility to the spleen: issuing common sense. Common sense, you see, is an intelligent balance between head and heart.
You've heard the phrase "follow your heart" ad nauseum, I am sure. Patrice Lewis expounds on why we shouldn't only "follow our heart" in making critical decisions in life, and how it can lead to bad things. Just think about all the people who followed their hearts when they voted for Barack Hussein Obama, and look how that worked out! (No, Patrice doesn't say that in her column... That was my own editorial example.)

Follow your spleen

By Patrice Lewis

January 01, 2011 ~ 1:00 am Eastern

© 2011

Recently, my daughters and I were at a friend's house where a television was on (we don't get TV reception in our home). The girls, instantly mesmerized by the idiot box, stared at whatever dribble was showing. But since my kids have been raised without that questionable medium, they are much more critical of what they see on the screen.

Since it was shortly before Christmas, everything – from advertisements to previews of upcoming shows to the program itself – was Christmas themed. The overall message the TV station attempted to convey was holiday warmth and mushiness mixed with commercialism. "Follow your heart!" gushed an announcer's voice.

At once both my girls started making gagging noises. "I hate that term!" exclaimed my oldest, who just turned 15. "It's because people follow their hearts that they have so many problems!"

Out of the mouth of babes. I realized my sensible teen had nailed it.

I will now embark on a series of mangled metaphors that will make any physician nauseous, but bear with me.

It recent years, feelings – classically described as originating from the heart – have become gods. It's gotten to the point where how you feel supersedes rational thought. These feelings – following your heart – are not always the best guide for proper action and behavior.

When you think about it, how many times has following your heart gotten you into trouble? Your heart might say this is a great guy to marry (he's handsome, sexy and buys you roses) but your head knows he's risky (he's been married four times, had an affair while you were dating and can't keep a job).

Your heart might fall for your brother's latest plea for a loan – after all, isn't he family? – but your head knows darned good and well he's going to fritter the money away and ask for another loan next month.

See my point? Simply put, the heart is seldom a good judge of what should be done.

In the last 40 years, feelings have become supreme. We used to be guided by sensible documents such as the Bible and the Constitution. Now those sources are deemed too pitiless, too much at odds with the warm gushy feelings that rule society. Today we take our guidance from People magazine and Oprah.


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