In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed February as National Heart Month, a celebration of that 10 ounce, fist-size pump that not only runs the body, but energizes the spirit and soul.
"Go to your bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know," advised playwright William Shakespeare about this remarkable organ that beats between 70 and 80 times per minute, or about 100,000 times per day.
And the muscles of the heart are strong. A single beat of your heart could shoot blood 30 feet.
"In the small matters trust the mind, in the large ones the heart," recommended Sigmund Freud.
Someone who knows the importance of a good heart is entertainer David Letterman who underwent emergency quintuple bypass at age 52 after a test found arteriosclerosis, seriously clogged arteries. His high-stress job, type A behavior, and family history of heart disease were key factors.
Letterman is not alone. According to the American Heart Association, nearly 60 million Americans have one or more types of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and 1.1 million will have a heart attack this year. High blood cholesterol, smoking, physical inactivity and obesity are major contributing factors to heart problems.
One-third of Americans with high blood pressure don't know they have it. Are you one of them?
"A good heart," wrote Shakespeare, "Is worth gold."
My heart feels the world with tender awe.