Monday column: Tie a string on your heart

Opinion Sunday 03/December/2023 20:01 PM
By: Saleh Al-Shaibany
Monday column: Tie a string on your heart

When you tie a string on your heart, it stops swinging like a pendulum and the rhythm moves in a moderate speed helping you to see all obstacles in your way.
When problems hit the roof of your emotion, everything feels unfamiliar and out of place. That is the right time to come back and make a rational decision. It goes without saying that stability is the anchor of our life. Metaphorically speaking, when your heart threatens to pound out of your chest, you go into a considerable panic.

Whether it is relationships, jobs or family matters, when the anchor of the heart is in deep water, then the string can help to pull us out of trouble. But what is the job of the string in our hearts?  In simple terms, to navigate ourselves out of the trouble zones from time to time. Some of the decisions we make in our daily lives come when we take a wrong choice. That’s where we often get into trouble.

Imagine when we decide to buy something we cannot really afford and end up in a financial problem. Or walk out of our families for something that glitters outside when the shine has always been in our homes. And talking about the ‘shine’, the string can be used to let in some sunshine in our hearts when we start walking into the darkness of our own making.  

But when we start talking about the heart, then another question pops up. What is the role of our minds in decision making?  Certainly not to divert us from the true path. The mind can think of the consequences of our decisions while the heart only looks at the glamour. When the two are not compatible with each other, then we quickly get into trouble.

Before Tarik Ibn Ziyad, the Arab army General conquered Spain in the year 711, he had to make an important decision. He asked his officers not to let their emotions get the better of them while marching into Andalusia. He asked them to be compassion in their conquest of the new territory. What he was really asking his soldiers not to let their minds ruled by their hearts.

History tells us now Ibn Ziyad made sure there were fewer casualties when the Arabs conquered that part of the world. Ibn Sina, the founder of modern medicine, followed the same path before he started his experiments in pharmacology. He loved the sea and wanted to become a seaman to see the world. Until he saw the sufferings of the people in his hometown at Afshanah in Uzbekistan. A deadly plague wiped out almost half of the population there.   

He decided to pull the string in his heart by not jumping into a ship but instead, vowed to find a ‘cure’ for the plague. So it was his mind that made him stay back to start experimenting with medicines that led to the treatment of the disease. Not to follow the heart but the mind also led to many breakthroughs that shaped our world we live in.

So next time you arrive at a crossroad, pull the string of your heart to give your mind the chance it needs to make a better decision.