I recently had the great pleasure to meet Roger Cohen, a columnist with the New York TImes. Cohen spoke of many things, but one thing that stuck out to me was this concept of the "head and heart" style reporting he practices.
Now, I'm not talking about the type of sentimentality and repulsive gushing of certain sites and bloggers. Rather, I'm talking about, and what Cohen spoke on, is the one of the great duties of we journalists.
We look into the eyes of men, women and children every day and we tell them they matter. We say your story matters, we use our gilded tongues to shape a story around their lives.
It's one of the greatest pleasures I know to walk into an interview and to feel a connection with my subject because we're both passionate about our subject material or about our life in general. Then we have the duty to report it and to do it well, so that our audience can understand the great why of it all.
And maybe we succeed at all of that. We've written the story that makes men weep, and women clutch their hearts. But what then? That's where the head comes into the equation. We do something next which some may call callous but I call rather brave and difficult.
We move on.
We move on, because it is the only way. I remember reporting in the midst of a courtroom because a woman allegedly shot her husband in the back as he tried to get away. I sat there for more than four hours listening to family members tell me of this man, of his life and of the two children who were bereft of a father. My heart broke at every word.
But I kept writing. Then I turned my story into my editors and...moved on.
We use our head and our heart in equal measure. Without one, we cannot be the journalists the world needs or deserves. But this philosophy isn't just about journalism, but life as well.
In life we cannot let our heart dominate us. We have to balance both the head and the heart to create our own stories. If we only have the heart, then we are a slave to our passions, heartaches and hurts. But if we only use our head then we are cold and some might say monsters.
Together, these two organs form men and women, each with their own unique genius. Embrace your genius, your heart, your mind and everything that makes you who you are.
That's all this week, folks. Thanks for reading. God bless.