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1972 - (By 1984 it was in its 39th
(I haven't finished entering the
quotes from his book, so it is hard to tell from this
page how good his book is, but I highly recommend it.)
Buscaglia led a free, non-credit
class at the U. of Southern California in the 60's and
70's called the "Love Class." His book is an
outgrowth of the class.
He opens with this introduction
In the winter of 1969, an
intelligent, sensitive female student of mine
committed suicide. She was from a seemingly fine
upper middle class family. Her grades were excellent.
She was popular and sought after. On the particular
day in January she drove her car along the cliffs of
Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles, left the motor
running, walked to the edge of a deep cliff
overlooking the sea and leaped to her death on the
rocks below. She left no note, not a word of
explanation. She was only twenty.
I have never been able to
forget her eyes; alert, alive, responsive, full of
promise. I can even recall her papers and
examinations which I always read with interest. I
wrote on one of her papers which she never received,
"A very fine paper. Perceptive, intelligent and
sensitive. It indicates your ability to apply what
you have learned to your 'real' life. Nice
work!" What did I know about her
I often wondered what I would
read in her eyes or her papers if I could see them
now. But, as with so many people in and situations in
our life, we superficially experience them, they pass
and can never be experienced in the same manner.
... I simply wondered what I
might have done; if I could have, even momentarily,
p 12 Reflecting love is like two
mirrors-- leads to infinity.
p. 16 As experienced human beings
we must certainly believe in one thing more than anything
else--we believe in change. And so if you don't like
where you are in terms of love, you can change it.
You can only give away what you
Then he says that love is more like
something you share because when you share it you still
have it. He says he could teach everything he knows and
still know it.
Like smiles - you don't give it,
you spread it, (like knowledge)
Academics don't like word
"love" -- he says he has to make his speech
title more academic sounding, like "Affect as a
Behavior Modifier" when he gives talks on love to
He says the word "love"
is rarely found in psychology books or any other academic
"Love has really been ignored
by the scientists."
p 17 He likes a book by Pitirim
Sorokim called The Ways and Power of Love.
Samuelson added a chapter to his
economics book called "Love and Economics."
Later he says that Samuelson said "I know my
colleagues at Harvard will say I have lost my mind. But I
want them to know that I have just found it.
LB quotes Albert Schweitzer who
says we are close together, but dying of loneliness.
p 18 He lists several
characteristics of a loving person.
Characteristic 1 - A person who
cares about himself. He says it is the most important
one. He describes this person as someone who says
"Everything is filtered through me, so the greater I
am, the more I have to give. The greater knowledge I
have, the more I am going to have to give. The greater
understanding I have, the greater is my ability to teach
others.." [I would add the happier I am, the more my
own emotional needs are met, the more loving I will be
able to be.]
p 19 If all of life is directed
toward the process of becoming, of growing, of seeing, of
feeling, of touching, of smelling, there won't be a
p 20 He says we are losing our
uniqueness, we are not persuading people to discover and
develop it. Then he has a few things to say about the
p 20 Education should be the
process of helping everyone to discover his uniqueness,
to teach him how to develop that uniqueness, and then to
show him how to share it because that is the only reason
for having anything.
Imagine what this world would be
like if all along the way you had people say to you,
"It's good that you are different. Show me your
differences so that maybe I can learn from them."
But we still see the processes again and again of trying
to make everyone like everybody else.
p21 He talks about how the art
teacher wants everyone to draw a tree the same way. If a
boy who has climbed in a tree, and who sees it from a
totally different perspective paints one his way she will
cry out that he is brain damaged!
p 22 The Animal School
p 31 What did you learn today-
fact/feeling or about life. He says make it a habit to
ask self later. He says in the future intelligence and
happiness will prevail, and that will be heaven.
Quote p 37
Theres a wonderful story in education
that always amuses me. Its called The
Animal School. I always love to tell it because
its so wild, yet its true. Educators
have been laughing at it for years, but nobody
does anything about it.
The animals got together in the forest one day
and decided to start a school. There was a
rabbit, a bird, a squirrel, a fish and an eel,
and they formed a Board of Education. The rabbit
insisted that running be in the curriculum. The
bird insisted that flying be in the curriculum.
The fish insisted that swimming be in the
curriculum, and the squirrel insisted that
perpendicular tree climbing be in the curriculum.
They put all of these things together and wrote a
Then they insisted that all of the animals take
all of the subjects. Although the rabbit was
getting an A in running, perpendicular tree
climbing was a real problem for him; he kept
falling over backwards. Pretty soon he got to be
sort of brain damaged, and he couldnt run
any more. He found that instead of making an A in
running, he was making a C and, of course, he
always made an F in perpendicular climbing. The
bird was really beautiful at flying, but when it
came to burrowing in the ground, he couldnt
do so well. He kept breaking his beak and wings.
Pretty soon he was making a C in flying as well
as an F in burrowing, and he had a hellava time
with perpendicular tree climbing.
The moral of the story is that the person who was
valedictorian of the class was a mentally
retarded eel who did everything in a half-way
fashion. But the educators were all happy because
everybody was taking all of the subjects, and it
was called a broad-based education. We laugh at
this, but thats what it is. Its what
you did. We really are trying to make everybody
the same as everybody else, and one soon learns
that the ability to conform governs success in
the educational scene.
p 76 Most men remain essentially
strangers, even to those who love them. (SH- Sounds true,
but also hard to totally agree with believe because to
love somemone, you must really know them, the real them.)
He says Orestes was alone when he killed Clytemnestra-
his mother (?) - an act which feed him
It is true that in the last analysis each man stands
alone. Love is also recognizes need No matter how many
people surround him or how famous he may be, in the most
significant moments of his life he'll most likely find
himself alone. The moment of birth is an
"alone" world, as is the moment of death. In
between these most significant moments there is the
aloneness of the moments of tears, moments of struggle
for change, moments of decision. These are times when man
is faced only with himself, for no one else can ever
truly understand his tears, his striving, or the complex
motivations behind his decisions. Most men remain
essentially strangers, even to those who need to love
them. Orestes was alone when he decided to kill
Clytemnestra, his mother, the act that freed him. Hamlet
was alone when he made the decision to avenge his
father's death, the act that destroyed him and virtually
all those about him. John Kennedy was alone when he made
the famous Bay of Pigs decision, a decision which might
have brought another great war upon the world. Most of us
will never know the weight of such momentous aloneness,
but each time we, too, make a decision, insignificant
though it may seem, we are just as truly alone.
The concept of aloneness becomes even more devastating
when we equate "aloneness" with
"loneliness." These, of course, are two
radically different things. One can be alone and never
feel loneliness and, conversely, one can be lonely even
when he is among people. We have all experienced degrees
of aloneness. They have not always been frightening. At
times, we've found aloneness not only necessary but
challenging, enlightening, even joyful. We've needed to
be alone with ourselves to become re-acquainted with
ourselves in the deepest sense. We've needed time to
reflect, to tie loose ends together, to make meaning of
confusion or simply to revel in dreams. We have found
that we often do these things best alone. Albert
Schweitzer stressed this poignantly in his comment that
modern man is so much a part of a crowd that he is dying
of a personal loneliness.
Most men seem able to contend with the knowledge of being
alone as a unique challenge. But they edge of being alone
as a unique challenge. But they do not choose aloneness
as a permanent state. Man is by nature a social being. He
finds that he feels more comfortable in his aloneness to
the degree to which he can volitionally be involved with
be involved with others. He discovers that with each deep
relationship he's brought closer to himself, that others
help him to gain personal strength and this strength, in
turn, makes it more possible for him to face his
aloneness. So man strives consciously to reach out to
others and bring them closer to himself. He does this to
the degree to which he is able and to which he is
accepted. The more he can ally himself to all things,
even to death, the less fearful of isolation he becomes.
For these reasons man created marriage, the family,
communities, and most recently, communes , and some
contend, even God.
There seems to be accumulating evidence that there is
actually an inborn need for this togetherness, this human
interaction, this love. It seems that without these close
ties with other human beings, a newborn infant, for
example, can regress, developmentally, lose
consciousness, fall into idiocy and die. He may do this
even if he has a perfect physical environment, a superb
diet, and hospital type hygiene. These do not seem to be
enough for his continued physical and mental development.
The infant mortality rate in well-equipped has been
appalling. In the previous two decades, before an
understanding of the import of human response on child
development was accepted, the statistics of infant
mortality in institutions were even more horrible. In
1915, for example, at a meeting of the American Pediatric
Society, Dr. Henry Chapin reported a study of ten
institutions for infants in the United States where every
child under two years of age died! Other reports at the
time were similar.
Dr. Griffith Banning, in study of 800 Canadian children,
reported that in a situation where children whose parents
were divorced, dead or separated, and where a feeling of
love and affection was lacking, this knowledge did far
more damage to growth than caused by disease and was more
serious than all others factors combined.
Skeels, a noted psychologist and educator, reported
recently on his most dramatic long-term study conducted
on orphaned children where the only variable was human
love and nurturing. One group of 12 children remained
housed in an orphan-age. Each of 12 children, in a second
group, was brought daily to be cared for and loved by an
adolescent, retarded girl in an institution nearby. His
findings have become classic in the literature. After
over twenty years of study he has found that of those in
Group I who remained in the institution, without person
love, all were at present, if not dead, either in
institutions for the mentally retarded or in institutions
for the mentally ill. Of those in Group II, who received
love and attention, all were self-supporting, most had
graduated high school and all were happily married, with
only one divorce. Startling statistics, indeed!
In New York city, Dr. Rene Spitz, in the past decade,
studied children who lived in two different but
physically adequate institutions. The institutions
differed mainly in their approach to their charges in the
amout of physical contact and nurturing which the
children recieved. In one institution the child was in
contact with a human person, usually his mother, daily.
In the second institution, there was a single nurse in
charge of from eight to twelve children. Dr Spitz studied
each child in terms of factors of his development,
medically and psychologically. He concerned himself with
the child's Developmental Quotient which included such
important aspects of personality as intelligence,
perception, memory, imitative ability and so on. All else
being comparatively equal in the children who had the
nurturing, the caring human contact, the Developmental
Quotient rose from 101.5 to 105 and showed a continued
P81. Those children deprived of nurturing started with an
average Developmental Quotient of 124 and by the second
year of study the Development Quotient had fallen to a
There are several other studies by Drs. Fritz, Ridel,
David Wineman and Karl Menninger all of which indicate a
positive correlation between human concern and
togetherness, and human growth and development. A very
interesting and more thorough report on these studies and
many of a similar nature can be found in a fascinating
article by Ashley Montagu in the Phi Delta Kappa, May
So it seems the infant does not know or understand the
subtle dinamics of love but already has such a strong
need for it that the lack of it can affect his growth and
development and even bring on his death. This does not
change with adulthood. In many cases, the need for
togetherness and love becomes the major drive and goal of
an individual's life. It is known that a lack of love is
the major cause of severe neurosis and even psychosis in
there for we say that the love as a learned
p 127 Love always creates. It never destroys
He talks about all the problems in the world that seem
impossible to solve and says...
The only question is, What can I do?
128 story of how he helped one Chinese refugee who
then helped someone else who then helped someone else.
129 Love is illimitable, deep, infinite
Each day in which we become more observant, more
flexible, more knowledgeable, more aware, we grow in
A loving person recognizes needs. p 43
He needs people who care, someone who cares at least
about him, truly sees and hears him. ... perhaps just one
person, but someone who cares deeply.
p 44 We need to be heard. Then example of teacher who
doesn't pay any attention to student saying his father
hit his mother.
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. http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Leo_Buscaglia.
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