Hearts of gold are soft
We have all heard the expression “(s)he has a heart of gold;” and for the longest time, I took that to mean a pure soul who is selfless and kind. Someone valued for their goodness. But as I’ve grown older, the value of the statement has changed for me: people with hearts of gold are soft.
Gold is one of the softest, noble metals on earth. It is easily mailable and alloyed with base metals before use in coinage and jewelry. Otherwise, it breaks and falls apart. As an investment commodity, gold provides no short-term yield and any country that practices “the gold standard” risks the size and health of its economy, all based on the supply of gold.
So why is gold the standard of “good?” Sure it’s a rare element and used for tens-of-thousands-of-years to note affluence and human achievement. But how does that translate to the worth of a person’s heart? It is my opinion that to have a heart of gold, one must be soft.
With a soft heart, people are open to new opportunities and conversations. Able to show weakness and tenderness, and to express love and humility. A gold heart binds with others to make itself stronger and others more brilliant; and is malleable enough to stretch itself out before breaking.
Even if it breaks, repairing a gold heart is done when others give from their own hearts. In fact, the Japanese art of Kintsugi is an art form in which breaks and repairs of ceramic and pottery are treated as part of the object's history; and an item repaired by Kintsugi looks more beautiful than when it was whole.
A heart of gold is not pure naturally. It has inclusions and dents and scratches. It is open to bonding and repairing and lends itself to help others shine. We constantly have to work on showing our true selves. Only through trials, and mistakes, and being broken can we really have a heart of gold.
Soften your heart.