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January 7, 2015: Big Heart

There was a movie, Big Heart – as I recall, the central character rips open someone’s heart, or someone rips open his heart, and eats the heart. Terrible, terrible. I didn’t go and see it. If I know beforehand that a movie has violent scenes in it, I will not watch it. This is because it all seems really real to me.

It used to be that directors found artful ways of having people done in. Not anymore. It is partially for this reason that violence begets violence. People see it on the screen. They first are desensitized to it, and then they become accepting of it. This is made easier by the fact that they identify with the

“good” character who uses violence in order to do in the “bad” character. Permissible, but not right. There are always alternatives, meaning less aggressive ways of dealing with bad guys.

I think that in many instances, visuals create a psychological effect that result in like behaviors. I don’t know what part of the brain is activated, but think that this would make for an excellent study. There is another piece of the puzzle that needs to be considered, and this is the development of conscience. My parents instilled this in me – I don’t know if they were aware of what they were doing – but I learned that when I engaged in supposedly unacceptable behavior, that one of the consequences was that I’d end up feeling bad about it. This might not be so of all who watch violent movies.

Brave Heart. Two powerful words, in fact one’s that would prompt some to see a movie with this title. Been there, done that. The words Big Heart would not be as big a movie going draw. Still, they are worth considering.

Those with big hearts do not fold, spindle, or mutilate. They instead respect and revere all living things. This includes garden worms, who they carefully relocate when they see them writhing on the road. Slugs, well, those who relocate them have the biggest hearts in the entire world. Our friend Alice Ciostek is like this. She will toss slugs over the garden fence rather than kill them. She has the biggest heart of all.

Another person with a big heart is Pete. In comparison to Alice’s and Pete’s hearts, mine is quite small. They have Alaska State Fair pumpkin sized hearts. I have a walnut sized heart. Lub dub, lub dub, lub dub.

I said in yesterday’s dispatch that in order to get an assist from Pete I now need to get in line. This is indicative of his very big heart. He does not ever refuse to help anyone out, not does he ever whine about having too much to do. The words “too busy” are just not in his vocabulary. Rather, he continues to mentally reprioritize things. He does at time get overwhelmed -- I see it more than hear about it. His face muscles get tight and he’s more tense.

Get in line – I have the home court advantage in that I am able to cut in front of the others. Overwhelmed or not, Pete always responds to my requests with good cheer. Examples abound. The past two days he put a lot of time into formatting my Icelandic Horse Pleasure Rider Program logs – those participating are to keep track of their hours and then at the year’s end, submit them to the Pleasure Rider Program coordinator. She then determines who the overall winner is.

Pete routinely cooks dinner, allowing me additional time to write.

When I go outside, I come across things he’s done that make my life, and the lives of our animals, easier. For instance, this winter, Pete’s put Plexiglas on the goat shed door, and an eye hook on the horse shelter (so that I can more easily close the gate).

The list is endless. Yesterday Pete finished constructing an agility course obstacle. The S bend consists of a series of 2 x 4s laid out in a pattern. This too had become a major project. He tried using poles, but they were too uneven length wise. So he went to the lumber store and purchased new planks. He then cut the wood to size, and after laying out the pattern, he marked them with a pencil so that I could more easily put the pattern together. Then he watched as I walked Raudi through the pattern and provided me with some very insightful comment.

I sometimes wonder what people think about our relationship. Actually, I do sort of know. They think that I am very lucky. They might also see this relationship as being somewhat lopsided. Pete, Big Big Heart gives, and Alys, Little Big Heart takes. This could have something to do with our blood type – Pete is a universal donor and Alys is a universal recipient.

Anyhow, my acknowledging that things here are a bit on the catawampus side is a small step in the right direction. I maybe could form the Big Heart Anonymous group – an organization that assists people like me in being kinder, more charitable, and more open to the ideas of others. First, I’d have to see if Pete would be interested in giving me an assist with the promotional aspects involved in doing this. Lub Dub, Lub Dub.

Next 8. 1/8/15: Awareness

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