February is National Heart Health Month and the Division of Health and Human Services has a national agenda called Million Hearts™ to prevent a million heart attacks and strokes in the U.S. over the next five years. They want to empower more people to reduce sodium and trans fat intake.
Needless to say, this is great news for the physical part of our heart. But what are we doing to enhance the benevolent spirit in our heart? In today’s tumultuous world, what good is a healthy physical heart if the world we live in is ugly, mean-spirited and sick?
In our book, Women, Wealth and Giving: The Virtuous Legacy of the Boom Generation, my co-author Niki Nicastro McCuistion and I write about how the noblest gift a human soul can give to another is the gift of love from the heart. We believe “it is love from the heart that connects, listens, and responds to the pulse of the world crying out for a new spirit of humanity.”
Don’t you just wish we could transplant the benevolent spirit in our heart the same way doctors skillfully transplant the physical wonders of our heart? Yes, reducing sodium and trans fat intake certainly are some of the physical means to maintain health heart. But there is more.
A truly healthy heart is also joyful in spirit. The pulse of the spirited heart is driven by the love of humankind with the zeal, passion and conviction for a more harmonious and just world. A world where diversity is embraced and tolerance manifested for all. The pulse of the spirited heart is the soul of our being, giving us the power to transform the world through our good deeds of time, talent and money for the greater good. A world where the environment is respected and creative thinking encouraged. The pulse of the spirited heart comes alive in each one of us when we listen and follow our unique and personal calling to live by the Golden Rule.
Science may only now be quantifying what philanthropists have known since the beginning of time: A healthy heart is a benevolent heart, pure and mighty with the power to change our life and create the world we want. The world needs each one of us to listen to the spirit in our heart and seize the moment to act with our whole heart – healthy and benevolent.