My research pulls on an age-old thread that says ethics is fundamentally, albeit not exclusively, about the heart. In particular, motives for acting have intrinsic significance independent of outcome: being for what matters (motives) is just as important to ethics as bringing about what matters (outcomes). A major worry for my view is that (as many philosophers think) motives can be controlled only indirectly by managing them. I argue to the contrary that agents enjoy a basic form of control over motives, and it is this that facilitates voluntary control over actions in the first place. I also seek to explain how the sometimes daunting demands on what to care about according to my view might not only be possible but even make sense to live up to. I am especially interested in the grounds for more compassionate ways of being oriented toward others: for showing attention, grace, and love even when these might not be deserved.