the heart has reasons that reason cannot understand
reason has become the praised method of decision making, upheld as the sacred way of thought. but i struggle to see why decisions made using reason should be championed while those motivated by the heart are deemed unwise, dangerous, and shameful. cannot good come out of either? cannot both cause future regret?
since the enlightenment, mankind, at least in the western world, has become very skeptical of any cognition not singing the tune of rationale. logic has been risen on a pedestal so high that all other modes of thought have become mere specs on the landscape, it can no longer see them accurately, their worth becomes microscopic in memory.
when people alter plans or make choices based on their passions, in response to emotions, out of love, such actions are ridiculed, feared, and earn warnings of caution. such heart-driven steps are deemed to be poor decision making, something that leaves a stigmata on your reliability-record, something you will grow to regret, if you do not regret it instantaneously. dispassion is glorified, celebrated, and adored.
i often wonder if this can really be true. growing up in a western society, you are instilled with certain notions that follow the argument of reason being safer and more sound in decision making: you should "not change your life for anyone else" (for who knows when they may betray and hurt you?) and "look after yourself" (for you are the only person you can truly trust), and always "go after your dreams" (because happiness is the epitome of perfection in life). while being ambitious and going after life goals is not bad in-in-of-itself, much of this mantra simple illustrates to me the foundational selfishness of reason.
how is shaping your life based on the sentiments of the heart, whether they last or are requited or not, any different in shaping your life and changing your course for other seemly more "rational" reasons like a career opportunity or a hunt for happiness? those categories of choice-motivators are colored as more worthy, respectable, and forgivable, but are equally if not more self-centered. making decisions based on love can certainly be driven by selfishness this is undeniable. but choices made out of love can also be driven by sacrifice, and by a response to the Spirit revealing where one's priorities ought to rely.
we live so much in a culture that fears regret, yet somehow the fear of regretting choices motivated by love is fare more powerful than the fear of regretting choices driven by ambition, logic, rational. for, few people can lecture you on making a choice that followed "sound reasoning," but many an i-told-you-so would be thrown at you for any regrettable decision made out of love.
this is likely a pure waxing-philosophical of a hopeless romantic, but when i hear and read of stories of ages past, where notable figures (both fictional and real) lived a lifetime of unrequited love out of a the obligations of duty, honor, decorum, practicality, and societal norms...it seems a greater folly to me then it would have been to throw all that away, disregard the mind for sake of listening to the heart.
the same goes for the way most of western society goes enters the working world. so many people put their passions aside, going for a "practical" career because doing what we love most, what we are most passionate about is either not prestigious enough (for our selves, our parents, our spouse), does not earn enough money, or seems impossible to obtain. i have seen so many people pursue law or medicine that never use terms of endearment when speaking about it. but, when talking about art, cooking, or linguistics, they light up. to go after the career or emphasis of study despite all the odds seems foolishness, yet, which life is more fulfilling: one with less honors and comfort but fills our days with satisfying work? or one with stability, that wins the envy of others, but provides so little fulfillment in the moment-by-moment?
so often we struggle to make decisions using the mind alone, but wouldn't it be better to let the heart have a say as well? a collaborative effort? at the end of the day, at the end of life, which would you regret more: making a poor decision based on logic or one made out of love, out of the passions of the heart? or, to put it differently, which would you find more reason to rejoice in, even if the joy of the choice was momentary, lasting for but a breath?