“You fuel your heart with six things: what you watch, what you read, what you listen to, who you surround yourself with, how you talk to yourself, and what you visualize.” –  Joshua Medcalf, author Chop Wood, Carry Water!

I had the privilege to speak to the honor students at Bartow High School as they were recognized on Tuesday night.

These kids are the best and brightest in our community.  They are doing good things to reach the achievements they have reached.  They have a lot of runway ahead of them.  I sought to share some thoughts that would help them along the path.

Joshua Medcalf’s observation about the care and feeding of the heart was one of the things I shared.

In the world today, there are many things coming our way.  As a parent and a grandparent, I watch what occurs and it causes concern about what my loved ones could and will encounter.

One of the things I hope for the people I care about is their “heart” will be vital and safe.  I’m not talking about the physical, blood pumping, physical heart.  I’m speaking of the “heart” that guides us, fortifies us, brings us the essence of our being.

While we may fight to protect and to guard the hearts of our children, we all know that eventually the care and feeding of the heart moves away from us and into the care of each person.  We each are responsible for the condition of our heart.

So, we fuel it.  We shouldn’t leave it to chance.  We make choices about what we take in and its health.

What you read.  What you listen to.  What you watch.  How you speak to yourself.  Who you hang around with.  What goals and direction you choose.

You want the kids you care about to protect their hearts?  Start by showing them how’s it done.