Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hearts and Minds

Although I didn't get a chance to watch Mark Sanford's entire pathetic press conference yesterday, I was struck by the fact that during those parts of it I did see Sanford spent a lot of time talking about his heart:

And that is, I suspect, a continual process all through life of getting one's heart right in life. And so I would never stand before you as one who just says, Yo, I'm completely right with regard to my heart on all things. But what I would say is I'm committed to trying to get my heart right because the one thing that Cubby and all the others have told me is that the odyssey that we're all on in life is with regard to heart--not what I want or what you want, but in other words, indeed, this larger notion of truly trying to put other people first.

And I suspect if I'd really put this other person first, I wouldn't have jeopardized her life as I have. I certainly wouldn't have done it to my wife. I wouldn't have done it to my boys. I wouldn't have done it to the Tom Davises of the world. This was selfishness on my part. And for that, I'm most apologetic.

What the hell? This is sort of silly romantic drivel that one might to hear from a self-help author on "Oprah" or one of the self-absorbed man-boys on MTV's "The Real World." But not from a forty-nine year old governor of a state who previously had aspirations to become the leader of the free world.

Instead of worrying about "getting one's heart right" Sanford should be focused on getting his head right. It's really sad that a man in his position would fall into the trap of believing the crap about "your heart's always right" and "go with your heart" as if we're helpless to resist emotional impulses. Yes, you have a heart, but you also have a head and it's never a good thing to completely allow one or the other to guide your life.

The other thing that bothered me about Sanford's commitment to "get my heart right" is that this isn't all about his heart. Sanford is a Christian (Episcopal) and I know that he talked about his faith during the press conference. However, I'm surprised that a bigger part of his contrition wasn't focused on the sins he committed against God. It's great that you're going to work on getting your heart right Gov, but how about getting right with God? When you blindly follow your heart (or other parts of the anatomy) you easily can stray from God's path.

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