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leo buscaglia Quotes

Leo Buscaglia Quotes

Birth Date: 1924-03-31 (Monday, March 31st, 1924)



    • A total immersion in life offers the best classroom for learning to love.
    • As soon as the love relationship does not lead me to me, as soon as I in a love relationship do not lead another person to himself, this love, even if it seems to be the most secure and ecstatic attachment I have ever experienced, is not true love. For real love is dedicated to continual becoming.
    • It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.
    • One does not fall 'in' or 'out' of love. One grows in love.
    • This loving person is a person who abhors waste - waste of time, waste of human potential. How much time we waste. As if we were going to live forever.
    • Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
    • We need not be afraid to touch, to feel, to show emotion. The easiest thing in the world is to be what you are, what you feel. The hardest thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position.
    • We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death.
    • Go around - listen to how many times a day you say, 'I love' instead of, 'I hate.' Isn't it interesting that children, as they learn the process of language, always learn the word 'no' years before they learn the word 'yes'? Ask linguists where they hear it. Maybe if they heard more of 'I love, I love, I love' they'd hear it sooner and more often.
    • DON'T MISS LOVE. It's an incredible gift. I love to think that the day you're born, you're given the world as your birthday present. It frightens me to think that so few people even bother to open up the ribbon! Rip it open! Tear off the top! It's just full of love and magic and joy and wonder and pain and tears. All of the things that are your gift for being human.
    • Who is the loving person? The loving person is the person who loves him or herself. I say this so often, and people say, 'Oh yes, you're so right,' but they don't do it! You will never be able to love anyone else until you love yourself. Even With you Fat Thighs!
    • The hardest battle you're ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.
    • When I wrote my book, LOVE, it was really funny, because my publisher said, 'Oh, Leo, you're going to have to change the name because I'm sure that someone has used that name before.' I said, 'Why don't you send it in and see what happens?' So we sent it in and I got the 'copyright' for LOVE! No one had ever thought of a book called simply Love. L-O-V-E. Such a good word. Such a limitless word. Such a limitless concept.
    • Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.
    • People are not here to meet your expectations.
    • I have a lot of things in my classes that I call 'voluntarily mandatory.' One of the things that is voluntarily mandatory is that every student come to see me in my office at least once. I cannot teach bodies. I can only relate to people. And so I say, 'Come in, and we will sit across from one another. I don't want to talk about the texts or the class. We can do that another time. I just want to know the last time you saw a unicorn and do you still believe in primeval forests. And when you come, I am going to touch you - and if that bothers you, take your tranquilizer.' It is amazing how many are intimidated by someone who says, 'I want to touch you.' I was raised in a large Italian family, as most of you know, and everybody hugs everybody all the time. On holidays everyone gets together, and it takes forty-five minutes just to say hello and forty-five minutes to say goodbye. Babies, parents, dogs - everyody's got to be loved! And so I have never suffered that existential feeling of not being. If someone can hug you and not go through you, you are. Try it sometime.
    • About two years ago a young lady came into my office, and I knew immediately something was wrong. Her eyes were kind of glazed, and her head was nodding, and I asked, 'What's the matter'' She replied, 'Oh, Dr. Buscaglia, in order to get enough courage to come to see you, I had to drink a whole bottle of Ripple! And I think I am going to be sick!' Imagining... having to drink a bottle of Ripple to summon up the courage to come to see me. All I do is put my hands out and say, 'Hi.' I cover their hands with mine and lead them into my office, and I can see a look of panic on their faces, 'What's he going to do to me?' I am not going to do anything to you! I just want you to know that I cry, too, and I feel, too, and I care, too, and I don't know everything, too, and therefore, we can start with a common frame of reference - human being to human being. If anybody tries to play the game of 'follow the guru' with me, they will be lost, for they will learn that I am just as confused as they are. The difference may be that I know it. A Buddhist teacher once said to me, 'Why do you keep moving? You are already there.' And all of a sudden it occurred to me - my goodness, I am!
    • I started my Love Class as a result of the suicide of one of my most talented students. She showed no sign of her despair. Then one day she took her life. I had to ask, 'What's the good of all our learning, knowing how to read and write and spell if no one ever teaches us the value of life, of our uniqueness, and personal dignity?' So I started my Love Class. I taught it free of salary and tuition just so students could have a forum to consider the truly essential things. I really didn't 'teach' the class. I facilitated it - helping the students to discover their own magic.
    • We take love for granted. We assume we are all perfect lovers and all we need do is wait and our love will grow and blossom as readily as a flower in spring. Not so. Love doesn't grow unless we do. It takes patience, knowledge, experience, determination, and every positive trait we possess. In addition, love is always changing and unless we stay aware and change with it, it eludes us.
    • We are all born with God-given, unique traits and skills. But, as with all possibilities they will remain unrealized unless they are developed, nurtured, and put into practice. You may have the 'capacity' to love, but if left undeveloped, you will never gain the 'ability.'
    • A life of love is one of continual growth, where the doors and windows of experience are always open to the wonder and magic that life offers. To love is to risk living fully.
    • I don't believe in unconditional love. In fact, I think it's unwise. My love has had a condition that if ever my love keeps you from you, from your growing, and realizing your personal potential, then I must step aside. No one has the right to stand in the way of another's joy, development, or unique perceptions.
    • We live in a small world. Not a leaf falls that doesn't affect a myriad of things. When we reach out to someone in love and the effect is made - everyone, everything which comes in contact with the person we've effected is better for it. Of course, the converse is true, too.
    • The essence of love is getting out of oneself and into others. When we care less about our feelings, our rights, our happiness, our security, etc., and begin to concern ourselves with the feelings, rights, happiness, and security of others, we will have found the true power of love.
    • We can ask ourselves daily what we have done to make the world a better place, to make someone smile, to help someone to feel more secure, etc. It's the simple things which have the greatest effect. We must never underestimate the strength of a smile or act of kindness.
    • We are born for love, but it will die if not nurtured.
    • You can't imagine the joy I feel when I hear that something I've said or done or written has helped others to regain their sense of dignity, to motivate them to develop their unique potential, to encourage them to reach out to others in love.
    • I have learned that love is the most powerful force available to us. When we have real love we have the strength to perform miracles.
    • I'd like to be remembered for being a good, kind, loving, gentle man who attempted to live wisely, and who cared a lot.
    • It is when we ask for love less and begin giving it more that the basis of human love is revealed to us.
    • The greatest risk is risking nothing at all.
    • A loving relationship is one in which the loved one is free to be himself - to laugh with me, but never at me; to cry with me, but never because of me; to love life, to love himself, to love being loved. Such a relationship is based upon freedom and can never grow in a jealous heart.
    • A single rose can be my garden... a single friend, my world.
    • A wonderful realization will be the day you realize that you are unique in all the world. There is nothing that is an accident. You are a special combination for a purpose - and don't let them tell you otherwise, even if they tell you that 'purpose is an illusion.' (Live an illusion if you have to). You are that combination so that you can do what is essential for you to do. Don't ever believe that you have nothing to contribute. The world is an incredible unfulfilled tapestry. And only you can fulfill that tiny space that is yours.
    • A lot of people don't want to talk about love and feelings and I'm always going around saying, 'Hey, let's talk about love!' I don't care. And if you think I'm crazy, that's wonderful, because when you think I'm crazy, that gives me lots of leeway for behavior.
    • Ancient Egyptians believed that upon death they would be asked two questions and their answers would determine whether they could continue their journey in the afterlife. The first question was, 'Did you bring joy?' The second was, 'Did you find joy?'
    • Change is the end result of all true learning.
    • Change. It has the power to uplift, to heal, to stimulate, surprise, open new doors, bring fresh experience and create excitement in life. Certainly it is worth the risk.
    • Death is a challenge. It tells us not to waste time... It tells us to tell each other right now that we love each other.
    • Don't brood. Get on with living and loving. You don't have forever.
    • Don't hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.
    • Don't smother each other. No one can grow in the shade.
    • Don't spend your precious time asking 'Why isn't the world a better place?' It will only be time wasted. The question to ask is 'How can I make it better?' To that there is an answer.
    • Everyone needs a hug. It changes your metabolism.
    • Find the person who will love you because of your differences and not in spite of them and you have found a lover for life.
    • Happiness and love are just a choice away.
    • I believe that you control your destiny, that you can be what you want to be. You can also stop and say, No, I won't do it, I won't behave his way anymore. I'm lonely and I need people around me, maybe I have to change my methods of behaving and then you do it.
    • I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate - it's apathy. It's not giving a damn.
    • I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things... I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind.
    • I've always though that people need to feel good about themselves and I see my role as offering support to them, to provide some light along the way.
    • I see people who are always saying, 'I'm a lover, I'm a lover, I'm a lover. I really believe in love. I act the part.' And then they will shout at the waitress, Where's the water?!' I will believe your love when you show it to me in action. When you can understand that everybody is teaching everybody to love at every moment.
    • I will leave you with this one thought. You know, I am really convinced that if you were to define love, the only word big enough to engulf it all would be 'life.' Love is life in all aspects. And if you miss love, you miss life. Please don't.
    • I will love you no matter what. I will love you if you are stupid, if you slip and fall on your face, if you do the wrong thing, if you make mistakes, if you behave like a human being I will love you no matter.
    • If I don't have wisdom, I can teach you only ignorance.
    • If we wish to free ourselves from enslavement, we must choose freedom and the responsibility this entails.
    • It is difficult for some people to accept that love is a choice. This seems to run counter to the generally accepted theory of romantic love which expounds that love is inborn and as such requires no more than to accept it.
    • It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them.
    • Life is our greatest possession and love its greatest affirmation.
    • Life is uncharted territory. It reveals its story one moment at a time.
    • Life lived for tomorrow will always be just a day away from being realized.
    • Like any other living, growing thing, love requires effort to keep it healthy.
    • Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lie's man's only promise.
    • Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love.
    • Love is always changing and unless we stay aware and change with it, it eludes us.
    • Love is always open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself.
    • Love is not some complex, mystical abstraction. It is something accessible and human that we learn through our everyday experience, as often at times of failure as in moments of ecstasy.
    • Love withers with predictability; its very essence is surprise and amazement. To make love a prisoner of the mundane is to take its passion and lose it forever.
    • Man has no choice but to love. For when he does not, he find his alternative lie in loneliness, destruction and despair.
    • Most of us are pawns in a game of love we don't understand.
    • Never idealize others. They will never live up to your expectations. Don't over-analyse your relationships. Stop playing games. A growing relationship can only be nurtured by genuineness.
    • Only the weak are cruel. Gentleness can only be expected from the strong.
    • Only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means.
    • Our talents are the gift that God gives to us... What we make of our talents is our gift back to God.
    • Perfect love is rare indeed - for to be a lover will require 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 scholar and the fortitude of the certain.
    • Relish love in your old age! Aged love is like aged wine; it becomes more satisfying, more refreshing, more valuable, more appreciated and more intoxicating!
    • The fact that I can plant a seed and it becomes a flower, share a bit of knowledge and it becomes another's, smile at someone and receive a smile in return, are to me continual spiritual exercises.
    • The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing, and becomes nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he simply cannot learn and feel and change and grow and love and live.
    • There are two big forces at work, external and internal. We have very little control over external forces such as tornadoes, earthquakes, floods, disasters, illness and pain. What really matters is the internal force. How do I respond to those disasters?
    • There is seemingly so little love shared in this world, it is not surprising that we ask, 'Where have all the lovers gone?' Since love is the most vital energy for good that is within our power to utilize, it is puzzling why we so seldom do so. Love is just a useless, abstract idea until we put it into action... Unless we are always actively living in love, we are not utilizing the greatest gift we have been given and which we, in turn, have to offer.
    • Things omitted are often more deadly than errors committed.
    • Time has no meaning in itself unless we choose to give it significance.
    • To live in love is life's greatest challenge.
    • To live in love is to live in life, and to live in life is to live in love.
    • When it comes to giving love, the opportunities are unlimited, and we are all gifted.
    • We all need each other.
    • We are all born with God-given, unique traits and skills. But as with all possibilities they will remain unrealized unless they are developed, nurtured and put into practice.
    • We are no longer puppets being manipulated by outside powerful forces: we become the powerful force ourselves.
    • We seem to gain wisdom more readily through our failures than through our successes. We always think of failure as the antithesis of success, but it isn't. Success often lies just the other side of failure.
    • What love we've given, we'll have forever. What love we fail to give, will be lost for all eternity.
    • What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.
    • What we need to know about loving is no great mystery. We all know what constitutes loving behavior; we need but act upon it, not continually question it. Over-analysis often confuses the issue and in the end brings us no closer to insight. We sometimes become too busy classifying, separating, and examining, to remember that love is easy. It's we who make it complicated.
    • Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.
    • leo buscaglia

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