"Have a Heart"

What does that really mean? What's the difference between "heartless", "hard-hearted", "cold-hearted" and "evil"? (Are the first three identical in meaning?)

If I concerned myself only with my own immediate, here and now goals, say sex, drugs and rock'n'roll, or personal wealth and power, irrespective of others' welfare, you might say I'm on the verge of "evil". (Perhaps you'd say that true evil is when my ultimate purpose is to hurt others. I don't accept that as a valid ultimate purpose. We each foresee some personal gain from each intentional act.)

The above "heartless" words instead imply that I don't put immediate, here and now friends, relative, associates and communities as my highest priority, and smaller communities as sub-priorities. I can live with that. I generally prefer to take the wholistic, long-term view, the whole world, "to the seventh (future) generation" (supposedly a Native American quote meaning the foreseeable future). I take the shorter-term approach only when I don't foresee it interfering with the long-term approach.

Isn't that rather opposite from "evil"?


Send me your thoughts.
Dan Robinson, danrob@efn.org, Eugene, Oregon
My home page: http://www.efn.org/~danrob/