It has been said that educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all. Manners of the Heart couldn’t agree more. If the heart needs of a child are not met, a brilliant mind will be wasted. The education of the heart should be, must be, the heart of education.
During our “Listen to the Children” study, Manners of the Heart interviewed more than 400 children, ages five to fourteen, from all walks of life. We quizzed the children with questions ranging from “Do you do chores at home?” to “What’s a family?” Their answers were enlightening and, at times, downright convicting.
The question, “What’s more important, being smart or being nice?” is a prime example of the insightfulness of the children:
• “I want to be nice, because that will make me smart.”
• “If you’re not nice, then you’re not smart.”
• “I must be smart, ‘cause I try to be nice.”
• “Nice.” (96% of the children responded “nice” without hesitation)
The children knew the best answer. They knew that heart knowledge and head knowledge are intertwined; that one cannot be separated from the other. They knew which comes first—heart knowledge. When we attempt to educate the mind without educating the heart, “We create a menace to society,” as Theodore Roosevelt once said. At Manners of the Heart we believe the quality of the heart determines the thoughts of the mind, and therefore, the resulting words and actions.
Just imagine what our world would be if the next generation is equipped with not only head knowledge to lead, but heart knowledge to lead in the right direction! It is our duty to educate their minds. It is an honor to educate their hearts.
Sir Walter Scott said it well, “We shall never learn to feel and respect our real calling and destiny, unless we have taught ourselves to consider the education of the heart.”
From my heart to yours,