Sunday, February 12, 2006

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

THE HEART OF THE MATTER

In this post it is my intention to write some words about the heart – both physical and metaphorical - as we approach St Valentine’s Day.  Let me begin with a short quote from the famous mathematical genius and Nobel Laureate John Nash.  We probably all know of him because of the popular movie called A Beautiful Mind starring Russell Crowe and directed by Ron Howard. Of the heart, John Nash says:  "Perhaps it's good to have a beautiful mind, but an even greater gift is to have a beautiful heart."
What put this in my mind was being part of a publicity campaign on behalf of Heart Children Ireland, whose home page can be viewed here:  http://www.heartchildren.ie/ .  Last Friday, the 10th of February 2006 all the local schools came together on Dollymount beach to form a big human heart in an effort to raise awareness for this very special charity.  I had the pleasure of being introduced to a little boy called James, only four years old who had just recently undergone open heart surgery.  What a brave little man he is.  Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me to capture the sheer magic of the day.   It was a triumph of organization on behalf of the committee.  All went to plan down to the gloriously fine day.  There was a strong Garda and Coast Guard presence as well as many helpers, teachers, and of course, the 1,000 or so pupils from all the local schools.  Several helicopters flew overhead, hovered and took many photographs of this unique event.

It felt good to be part of such a marvelous publicity campaign for such a good cause.  What we today call the “feel good factor” was certainly to the fore.  I’d rate this to be 10 out of 10 on all possible scales of “feel good”!  Foolishly I had no camera with me as I was preoccupied with the logistics of getting my class from school to the venue, getting my own and another teacher’s classes covered back at base etc.

I’m inserting a throbbing image of a heart at the top of this page courtesy of the Irish Heart Foundation, whose marvelous site may be viewed at this link here: http://www.irishheart.ie/iopen24/catalog/  

I would like to finish this post with a quote from Pablo Casals, the famous Catalonian Cellist:
“The capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest
meaning and significance.”

Thanks to all those men and women, parents, relatives, friends and carers of children with heart problems for allowing us to share in their vision of a world which really cares.

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