For Pete’s Take: Matters of the Grey…
I’m aware this issue of our magazine is themed around “matters of the heart” but let’s face it, if we’re being honest shouldn’t it be “matters of the brain?” Who decided long ago that the heart would be the symbolic source of human emotions? What ancient philosopher or more accurate, mortician saw a heart for the first time and reasoned that all emotions, specifically of love, emanate from that organ?
I believe more than a philosopher or mortician, he (or she) was probably in marketing. I mean if you had to choose between the brain or the heart for the symbol of love, the heart is way more versatile. First off a red heart is far more eye catching than a grey brain. Jewelry designers would hate it if the brain was the symbol of love, what would Jane Seymour do with her “Open Hearts” line of jewelry? Two brains just don’t have the same visual appeal as two hearts. Then you have all those clever sayings with the word heart in them. They just don’t sound the same when you try to make “brain” work in its place.
- He’s a real brain throb
- Let’s have a brain to brain talk
- She’s a real brain breaker
- He’s a real sweetbrain
- Cold hands, warm brain
- My brain goes out to you
Then you have a few of the songs that were written and performed with the heart as the subject:
Brainbreak Hotel – Elvis Presley
Hungry Brain – Bruce Springsteen
How Can You Mend a Broken Brain? – The Bee Gees
Stop Draggin’ My Brain Around – Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty
Your Cheatin’ Brain – Patsy Cline
Achy Breaky Brain – Billy R. Cyrus
See, just doesn’t sound the same. The poor brain is doing all the emotional work and the heart gets all the credit. The funny thing is the brain and heart need each other. The heart supplies the brain its energy and the brain tells the heart to do so. I’m sure there are many more anatomical miracles these two organs perform together, but without these first two, the other functions are just after thoughts.
So, we need to thank those earliest of marketers who branded the heart as the wellspring of loving emotions. I brain you. Just doesn’t sound right.
Tags: For Pete's Take, Matters of the Grey
Pete Ruffing is the Sales Director at M3 Group in downtown Lansing. He and his wife of 14 years Brenda live in Okemos.