Leo’s Look at Love


I first heard of Leo Buscaglia years ago when my mother read one of his books to report on at Monday Club, a reading/book reviewing group. She thought he was brilliant, and I’ve come to think so, too.

Buscaglia taught special education at USC in the late ’60’s. When his manuscript, loosely based on what was shared in those weekly classes, found a publisher, the author was surprised to find that the simple title LOVE had never previously been claimed, allowing him to say “I have the copyright on LOVE!”

Leo Buscaglia was a cheerleader for life. “Life is a banquet,” he would say, quoting from the movie Auntie Mame, “and most poor fools are starving to death.” He was most closely associated with the topic of love and human relationships, emphasizing the value of positive human touch, especially hugs.

This association with hugging became his trademark at lectures, where thousands of people would stand patiently waiting to hug him after a presentation. It was not uncommon for him to give a talk of about an hour, then stay afterwards signing books and hugging for at least twice that long.

When Buscaglia died in 1998, his books had sold more than 11 million copies in the U.S. with 24 editions available worldwide. The study of love brought him to the study of life. He wrote, “It’s not enough to have lived. We should determine to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of person-kind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely. Only you will be able to discover, realize, develop and actualize your uniqueness. And when you do, it’s your duty to then, give it away.”

Here, for Valentine’s Day, are Love Quotes by Leo Buscaglia:

– Love is always open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find
that you are left holding only yourself.

– Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.

– Happiness and love are just a choice away.

– Most of us are pawns in a game of love we don’t understand.

– 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.

– Like any other living, growing thing, love requires effort to keep it healthy.

– Love always creates, it never destroys. In this lies 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 open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find
that you are left holding only yourself.

– What love we’ve given, we’ll have forever. What love we fail to give, will be
lost for all eternity.

I plan to look into Buscaglia’s Love Cookbook with Biba Caggiano, a celebration of life and the food that sustains it. Each of the three sections, Recipes for Lovers, Friends, and Family, includes a variety of courses for every meal, from starters to desserts, as well as warm caring memories and thoughts from Dr. Buscaglia.

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