Whatever you do, I believe in the end, your heart will hold you accountable. I am not talking about rational decisions exclusively. I am also talking about impulsive decisions, gut decisions, instinctive decisions, basically, any type of decision. Your heart will have a say. Your heart will hold you accountable whether you expect it or not. That’s how the heart works. It doesn’t only pump blood. It doesn’t only keep us alive. It is a multifunctional organ.

Whatever decision you make, you must live with the consequences and that’s when the heart plays a role, a crucial one at that. Whatever decision you make, your heart will either be at peace or it will be troubled, tormented or hurt. Hell, regrets might sink in the way the Titanic met its unfortunate demise. We all know the joy that accompanies a virtuous and good decision. We also know the sleepless nights, the uneasiness, the stress that come along when we made the wrong decision. We know how tough those moments are. The heart won’t shut up because it simply never can. The moral compass lies in the heart anyway.

Surely, there are people who, no matter what they do, good or bad, won’t feel anything. Those are psychopaths. Their nature, meaning their genetic code is set in a specific way. They don’t feel the normal emotions other human beings experience, such as love, empathy, remorse, care, friendship, etc. They are born like that and nothing can be done, the way people are born with blue eyes; nothing can be done there either. It is their DNA; it’s nature and we know how undefeated mother nature is. She is the paramount mistress. Thankfully, psychopaths are only 1% of the population, so there is that!

We all have done something we regretted. We all have done something that kept us awake because we felt bad, as the remorse was eating away at our soul and our heart. That’s why I say the heart will hold you accountable, or not. However, for your heart to hold you accountable, you must protect it. You must care for your heart. You must make sure it is viable so your heart can take care of you. Who are you if not for your heart anyway?

That’s why I speak frequently about the heart and how precious it is. I believe we have a moral duty to protect our heart. First, it is a health issue. No need to explain further. Secondly, our heart, meaning the host of our feelings and our emotions, can be corrupted. I would like to say “easily corrupted”, but I hate generalizations. Let’s say it is case by case. However, I can say with absolute certainty that every heart has a vulnerability, that’s just a fact. Just because yours hasn’t been corrupted, don’t go around thinking it cannot be. You probably haven’t been put in a situation where it can be corrupted.

Back in the early 1990’s, children in Sierra Leone were abducted and forced to be in the Revolutionary United Front, a rebel movement guilty of one the worst atrocities in history. These kids were forced to kill, maim, rape and work in the diamond mines. Some were even pushed to kill their own family members. Those kids were innocent, until they weren’t. Their hearts, minds, souls, and bodies were corrupted in the worst ways because of the hellish environment they were put in, against their will of course. No kid deserves to go through that. I know kids are easier to mold into whatever adults want. Yet, I also know how easy it is to corrupt an adult heart. We all have seen people change almost the very fabric of who they are because of the circumstances they were put in or the experiences they went through. The heart is that fragile.

My example is quite extreme, but I use it to illustrate a point. When put in an extreme situation, the heart gets corrupted, and we find ourselves changing our moral compass and our hearts. We all know extreme situations of people who were born and raised in violent environments. Their hearts were corrupted from the beginning and dare I say, they never had a chance of protecting their heart. It is a shame to see hearts being destroyed. It is a shame to witness such a dramatic situation. People can be cruel sometimes and they can only spread their cruelty.

One other thing; influence and manipulation work in the long term. Their work is subliminal, slow, insidious, quite subtle. In this hyperconnected 21st century, with all these social media platforms and people spewing hate, misinformation, prejudice, false facts, lies and other nefarious messages, it is immensely easy to see your heart and mind corrupted. For a heart to be corrupted, it usually takes time, a long time because small steps take time to make up a long trip. To quote the android David in the movie Alien: Covenant, “big things have small beginnings”. That’s why I despise people who manipulate others. I despise liars and charlatans. I despise people whose charisma is a shield for their empty and corrupted hearts.

An acquaintance of mine spent the last few years reading different articles on Facebook (written by charlatans of course!) and today, I am sad to say he has become a certified lunatic, believing conspiracy theories that would make any rational person dizzy. He’s lost his empathy unfortunately. He views certain people, meaning those who don’t look like him or those who pray to a different god than he does, as the others, meaning as enemies and parasites. His head was corrupted first and then his heart followed. Today, he has nothing within that holds him accountable. It is a sad sight. He used to love people and he was so welcoming. He became a shadow of his former fun and warm self. According to recent studies, it takes a maximum of 6 months to fall into conspiracy theories and to hate so many things about humanity. So, it is that easy to become a misanthrope. Imagine that.

It is imperative to protect our hearts so they can protect us and hold us accountable. The moral compass should never disappear nor should it ever be corrupted to the point we cannot recognize our former selves. I am fully aware of how hard it is to keep our humanity in these difficult and uncertain times. I am fully aware of how a tragedy can change so much in someone’s heart. I am aware we must fight to keep our hearts so they can protect us. Protecting one’s heart is an active process. There is nothing passive about this crucial regular, if not daily exercise.

Whatever you read, eat, say, or do, meaning your actions, is important. Whatever you do has an important impact on your heart. Protect it. A heart devoid of humanity is a sorry and lost heart. Moreover, to lose oneself is easier than people might think. So please pay attention to what you feed your heart. Protect your heart for your own sake. Protect it with your life. Protect the way a lioness protects her cubs. Protect your heart.

Just one man’s opinion.

Now smile, protect your heart, and go on with your day!

Freeman. B

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