Column: Have a heart

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Commentary by Lorene Burkhart

As I approach the ninth anniversary of surviving open heart surgery, I began to think about the word heart in other ways than the heart as the most important organ in our bodies. Think of all the ways we use the word heart in our conversations.

Some examples: We might say that another person is heartless in their approach, meaning that they are negative. Or how about, take heart, meaning to have courage. Or you might see a puppy at the pound and say that it’s after your heart.

Then there’s a heart-to-heart conversation, meaning that we will bare our souls. We often refer to the heart as if it can physically become two pieces when it is “broken.”

Sometimes, we have a heartfelt moment. Mine happens when I see the American flag displayed at a parade. Or when I get a new picture of my 2-year-old great-grandson.

Increasingly, we see the heart motif used by putting hands together to form a heart shape. The person is showing us their “heartfelt” feelings. I still haven’t figured out how to make a heart shape on my computer unless I use an emoji (this grandma is savvy!).

When we pour our heart into a project, we mean that we are giving it our best effort because we don’t want to appear heartless (canceling the construction of the community pool, for instance).

Words are so much fun. Imagine trying to learn the English language and then figuring out the different meanings for just one word, such as heart.

Have a heart and offer assistance when your new friend is struggling to use the English language. It would be heartless to let them be embarrassed.

Ninth anniversary and my heart is still ticking!

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