Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Heart Broken

I remember telling someone, on her porch one afternoon: "That's because you have never really had your heart broken, and I will do my best so it never is."

Although I consider the promise was kept, it's easy to falter and maybe believe an impeccable heart to be an unwanted gift. There is a story of an old man whose' wounded, grieving heart he would not trade for that of a boy. A beautifully intact heart which was so naively boasted through the town; the story ends with the boy giving the old man a piece of the suddenly incomplete organ, and is an analogy of giving one's self in love.

In that boys eyes, and specially in these times, Love is a sentiment too often confused with desire, and self-adorement (narcissism), so the phrase: 'you must loose something to understand its real worth' urges one to believe a heart must be broken / given before one can understand its value, yet I believe in empathy. Time has bestowed upon life an infinitely powerful tool of comprehension, of understanding reality not only though our own eyes, but from those around us, of allowing us to share the responsibility of a better world.

It could be argued, that empathy is the root emotion behind the search for Justice (in another post, I quote a French philosopher who state Justice is an invention of man, and as such a responsibility of man unto himself.) So, if Love is a sentiment to be put to good use it must be born though Empathy, Comprehension, Dedication, Patience and Understanding, it must be a sentiment of Sharing, of reciprocal Trust and Cooperative Growth.

I recently heard a song: "What is love without lust" (La Roux - In For The Kill) and its something little short of coming from the black bible and a willingness to over-weigh self-adulation, self-fulfillment above all other things.

In that sense, and living through heart-breaks myself, there will always be choices in life. Choosing to be heart broken, is just as selfish as choosing lust. Evolution has seen to it so that our empathy, and sense of justice, prohibit us from attaining happiness if not through what we have identified as the virtues of life.

Some references:


Ayi :) said...

As for you, my galvanized friend, you want a heart! You don't know how lucky you are not to have one. Hearts will never be practical until they can be made unbreakable.
Wizard of Oz...

Hearts are meant to be broken

Rodolfo Hansen said...

Actually, the idea is: Empathy should save us from having to relive everything for ourselves.

Its tempting to believe understanding can only be obtained from experience, but I believe understanding the pain of a broken heart should be enough to protect your own from such a situation.

That is one of the evolutionary uses of empathy.

Ruben Llibre said...

i liked this post :)
interesting concept "Choosing to be heart broken, is just as selfish as choosing lust. "
interesting indeed

Unknown said...

I doubt hearts are purposely built to be broken. I do believe sometimes, if not most times, we should relive things for ourselves in order to fully understand them because if not, we can only pass judgement. We're different, and our brains process things differently depending on a million factors.
Understanding heartbreak can get you as far as putting on a seatbelt can prevent you from dying in a car accident (yes, it's tragic but you get my point).

(other thoughts too long to fit here, I'll pick your brains later)

I've always thought it's funny how we try to make reason out of feelings... and then I remember how hard it is to just feel things...

Have a Happy Christmas (and/or Holidays, in case you burn). May you feel Love, true and emphatically. May your heart heal and never again be broken... may impossible wishes for good, come true:)

Rodolfo Hansen said...

@9Misterios: you say empathy is not enough. I accept it is not the same, but you state full comprehension can only be achieved through self-experience.

If that were so, we are doomed to never understand x-rays, or dolphin cries.

It is true there is only so much we can extrapolate, and the quantum world will always be paradoxical to most of us, but self-experience is not all.

Understanding can come through other means.

Rodolfo Hansen said...

Passing judgment is exactly the benefit of empathy.

Our ability to assimilate the consequences of actions in others allows us an opportunity to profit from someone else's experience, by judging the result either positive or negative.

Unknown said...

Ok.. Yes, but this judgement will always be somewhat questionable. Meaning: what is good to you may be bad to another and viceversa; judgement, in most cases, is as individual as the person stating it. Examples: campaigns against drug abuse, against violence, against drunk driving, child abuse...etc.

Now, our subject here is Love and/or Heart brake: If these were solely theoretical, fully explained or felt/avoided based on empathy... Is it real? Or is it JUST a derivate of another's feelings for you? (highlight JUST, because it can start this way, but would it sustain?)

If anything, Empathy may also be used as an excuse to fear experience. Or to seek it.
For example: For a very long time rumor has it it is dangerous to walk during late hours at night thru certain neighborhoods, you may get mugged. Did that piece of understanding or some empathy ever get to you?

Rodolfo Hansen said...

@9no Misterio by paragraph:

Overturned by the supreme court, thats fine, as long as agree jjudgement is usefula.

Didn't understand what you ment.

rumor has it != empathy. and how one chooses to live ones life is a whole other problem, empathy as any tool is void of intent.

Unknown said...

"I believe understanding the pain of a broken heart should be enough to protect your own from such a situation."... is not. This explains 1 and 2.

"empathy as any tool is void of intent.".... Are you telling me spoons were created just for fun?

Ruben Llibre said...

i think what 9misterios says is:
1) she doesnt like heartbreak or u justifing it
2) justifying feelings


Rodolfo Hansen said...


I agree; fortunately enough reality transcends our "feelings" towards it.

Unknown said...

See.. now, was that so hard? :)

Amod said...

Thanks for the link! I agree with what I think your ultimate point is: that we need virtue if we are to be happy. And similarly that justice is one of those virtues. The post that you linked to tells a story that was important to me: how I learned that justice was a crucial part of living a happy life. We need not only to give to others or make them happy, but also to be aware of what we can reasonably and rightfully expect of them - and what they can expect of us.

Rodolfo Hansen said...


:D Your welcome.

Your post pretty much nails that position. Aditionally, there is also the biology behind it; it becomes just as interesting from a evolutionary standpoint, how primitve forms of Virtue can arise in a species...

there is an interesting video on TED regarding 3 levels of happiness I don't know if you've seen it... Anyways, I have a question regarding André Comte-Sponville: What do you think of his position towards Death?


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