Connecting Heads and Hearts

If I was to classify myself as a fangirl of some real (or maybe fictional?) historical figure, I would without a doubt say I am a fangirl of Robin Hood. There is something about that rebel archer who defends the oppressed and gives hope to the hopeless that I just cannot resist. As a child, Robin Hood was one of my ultimate favorite Disney movies (tied with Pocahontas). Then I discovered that the BBC made a TV series on him, and I immediately watched all three seasons (The first two seasons are the best, in my opinion. I really didn’t like the inconsistency in Robin’s character in the third season. But you can watch it and see what you think). I absolutely LOVE their take on my classic outlaw.

Here is one of my favorite scenes. The Sheriff of Nottingham sent Carter, a lethal killer, out to kill Robin. Things go well for the Sheriff until Robin and Carter actually have a heart-to-heart, at which time Carter switches sides and gives Robin his loyalty. Then they hatch a plan to get back at the Sheriff, rob the castle, feed the poor, and save King Richard (How could they do less?). So Robin drinks an herbal mixture like that which the priest gave Juliet to make her appear dead, his band of merry men, in disguise, carries his “corpse” to the castle, and Carter delivers Robin “dead” to the sheriff.

Once when I had nothing better to do, I was thinking about this scene, and I couldn’t get over how stupid the Sheriff was. I mean, Robin had outsmarted him countless times and just would not die; you’d think he would make absolutely certain he was dead. So I thought, “What’s one way to make sure someone is dead?” (Gruesome thought. Sometimes I’m convinced something is wrong with my brain.)

The one sure definite way I could think of to make sure someone is dead is to separate their heart from their head.

(Disclaimer: I’m definitely not planning to put that into practice at any time!! Everybody’s necks are safe from me!)

Is that not exactly what we try to do in the academic world, though? We try to train children to be ruled entirely by reason, to ignore emotions and listen only to their minds. Is it any wonder that we raise up cold-hearted people who can’t feel compassion or love for anyone, who are trapped in their own minds and cannot see the rest of the world?

No, because we’ve separated their hearts from their heads.

Is that not exactly what popular culture tries to do, though? We tell our children “all they need is love,” we gorge them with songs and movies overflowing with feelings and emotions but completely or mostly devoid of logic. Is it any wonder that we raise up overly-emotional people who think learning is unnecessary and discipline is obsolete?

No, because we’ve separated their hearts from their heads.

Where do you fit in this dichotomy? Are you a very rational person who tramples on other people’s feelings? Are you a person whose emotions control you and who scoffs at education? Hopefully, you’re somewhere in the middle. Hopefully, your head is connected to your heart, so that you can feel, you can love, but you can do also think. You can reason, you can reflect, but you can also sympathize, you can love.

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