This I Believe

Lori - Burlingame, California
Entered on April 23, 2007
Age Group: 30 - 50
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The intellect is meaningless if not informed by the heart.

An attorney, wife and mother of three, my life is very active. Attorneys move cases forward with research, writing and court appearances. Sometimes, the judicial opinions reveal rare pearls of wisdom. That is how I first became aware of this special message. It struck me as important but I didn’t really know why. Months later, I heard the same words from a University President’s Opening Day speech at my daughter’s College, then again, months later, from the Chief Rabbi at Stanford University speaking about religion in our lives. These repeated messages from very different venues rallied my attention.

I BELIEVE there are times in life when the chaos and motion of the world stop and form a melody for one glimpse of a second and sings just for you. The universe conspires to move you forward in life and help you on your path if you know how to listen. But listening can only happen when it’s born from the activity of life. Walter Isaacson’s new book quotes Albert Einstein who said, “Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.” (“Einstein” by Walter Isaacson. Simon and Schuster-2007). I believe Einstein was telling us that life is best when lived, not just thought about. Whatever your questions, the answers are present in the motion and energy of daily life.

“Great” I thought, now I hear a Marine Sergeant in my head barking complex orders: “Keep moving, ride that bike, maintain balance, don’t over think and listen to the heart you dummy!!” These notions may be right, but I need simplicity. So, I go back to my old ways of problem solving through thinking. But lately, it’s not working.

I have a full-blown, classic, mid-life crisis daunting and terrorizing my mind with a hurried desperation to do something meaningful before I die. In law school, you learn problem solving through IRAC: Issue, Rule Analysis, Conclusion. Understand the ISSUE, apply the correct RULE of law, think through an ANALYSIS, and determine the logical CONCLUSION. I’ve often used this method in my personal life, but alas, it’s not working now.

Then, I remembered my message: The intellect is meaningless if not informed by the heart!

I searched my heart for months, reviewed memories of passions and pleasures, and started living everyday mentally present to the physical moment passing. I stopped thinking and started feeling. All the while, riding Einstein’s bicycle and volunteering in my kids’ classes, maintaining a home, family and work life.

My heart finally revealed itself while riding Einstein’s bicycle: I realized, in my kids’ classroom, the happiest moments I’ve spent professionally, were teaching others and planting seeds of curiosity in young adult minds. I’m going to teach!

My new path revealed itself through riding Einstein’s bicycle and letting my intellect be informed by my heart.