“To handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart.” Eleanor Roosevelt
Eleanor Roosevelt was married to Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the longest serving President in United States history. She was known for her political savvy and her acts of service during the Great Depression and World War II which earned her admiration.
Her ideas about using your head and your heart to govern your actions deserves consideration.
To be the best we can be requires discipline, intention, endurance and resilience. Virtues such as being on time, doing your job well and fully every time, honoring your commitments, saving your money, avoiding risky behavior and earning trust come from solid, consistent choices.
Choices made in your head favor virtue. Choices made in your heart often feature pursuit of whims and attractions.
There is a country song out by Chris Stapleton. It’s called “Nobody to Blame but Me”. One line that resonates is “I know right where I went wrong”. Right where we go wrong is frequently when we pursue the heart’s passion without governing it with our head.
On the other hand, Roosevelt says use your heart when dealing with others. That invitation invites us to put others as a priority. It calls us to consider the other’s thoughts, perspectives and needs. It encourages us to be tender and compassionate. It opens us to forgiveness and understanding.
The world’s a better place when each one of us governs ourselves with our minds in a way that leads to virtue and we deal with each other with a heart toward care and regard for others.