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Love, What life is all about…

A book by Leo Buscaglia (1924-1998), published in 1972, inspired by the noncredit course Love 1A he taught at the University of Southern California. An examination of human love as the one unifying force of life.

Highlights of Buscaglia’s book in his words

I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate---it’s apathy.

Love is the language for establishing behavior, relationships, action, attitudes, empathy, responsibility, trust, caring, joy and response. There are not kinds of love; there are only degrees of love.

The easiest thing to be in the world is you.

The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position. Only you will be able to discover, realize and develop your uniqueness.

Change is the end result of all true learning. Change involves three things: First, a dissatisfaction with self—a felt void or need; second, a decision to change and third, a conscious dedication to the process of growth—the willful act of making the change, doing something.

To love oneself is to struggle to rediscover and maintain your uniqueness. A great deterrent to love is found in anyone who fears change. Growing, learning and experiencing is change. It will always be exciting, always be fresh and like all things new and changing, never be dull.

The only question we can justly ask of ourselves is, “What can I do?” Perhaps I personally cannot do much about the infant mortality rate or the problems of the aged, but I may give some of my time to making a child’s day or an elderly person’s remaining days on earth more pleasant.

To love others you must love yourself.
You can only give to others what you have yourself. You cannot give what you have not learned and experienced. Since love is not a thing, it is not lost when given. You can offer your love completely to hundreds of people and still retain the same love you had originally. It is like knowledge. The wise man can teach all he knows and when he’s through he’ll still know all that he has taught. But first he must have the knowledge. It would better be said that man “shares” love, as he “shares” knowledge.

The Western culture has been a culture of competitors. If he has a larger home, a more powerful car, a more impressive formal education, he must be a better man. But these are not universal values. There are cultures whose highest adulation goes to the holy man, the teacher, who has spent his lifetime in self-discovery and has nothing of monetary value to show for it. There are cultures who value joy and peace of mind over property and busyness. They hypothesize that since all men must die, whether poor or rich, the only real goal of life is the present joy and the realization of self in joy, not the collection of material things.

To be a lover

requires that you continually have the subtlety of the very wise, the flexibility of the child, the sensitivity of the artist, the understanding of the philosopher, the acceptance of the saint, the tolerance of the dedicated, the knowledge of the scholar and the fortitude of the certain.

The perfect love would be one that gives all and expects nothing.

Buscaglia’s love quiz

One of those serendipitous things…a comparable post
Scott Adams on The Dilbert Blog Sunday was The Meaning of Meaning related to The Happiness Formula post on Saturday.