The Educated Heart, as he understood it, learns its lessons
neither in the schools of technology, nor of parochial mein,
but rather in those of the human condition -amongst which The
School of Hard Knocks incorporates graduate material. Wherein,
as with all education, what one gets out of it depends upon
what and how much of the self one willingly invests. Hearts
that earn their credentials, become full participants in the
human process with a degree genuinely worth having.
Not unlike the poet/mathematician -myself when young once applied
to those whose distinctions leaned heavily upon degrees -PH.D./MBA
and various honorifics -with a sense of awe; which diminished
down the years as gradually it dawned upon me that this world
suffers far too many educated fools, disproportionate numbers
of whom are in a position to make decisions adversely affecting
us all. An ongoing form of intellectual "taxation without
representation" with precious little recourse for those
whom the fates designate as something less than full participants
in the game.
The problem is that the Educated Head -left to its own devices
-discounts the lessons of the heart. Too bad. They are the lessons
of forgiveness, forbearance and generosity tempered with humility,
empathy, patience and kindliness, the sum total of which defines
the capacity for basic human decency. All of which the Educated
Heart practices in whole or part, on a fairly regular basis.
It knows what makes life worth living, having learned not to
over-value the lessons of conventional education except insofar
as they may be incorporated into the human schema. It examines
conventional wisdoms in terms of truest worth, and discards
a great good many which -on close inspection -do not really
meet the heart's standards. What Portia meant, for example,
in her reminder that "...the quality of mercy is not strained
..." that it actually is "mightiest in the mightiest
"-really does bless him that gives and takes.
Having absorbed such lessons, the Educated Heart goes on to
incorporate that learning into a personal state of being which
enhances, as well, that state of being in others. Edna St. Vincent
Millay grasps this in the closing, warning lines of Renaissance:
that "...East and West will pinch the heart that cannot
keep them pushed apart, and he whose soul is flat, the sky -will
cave in on him by and by. "