“Deterrents to love are man-made. Love will not be deterred. Love flows like the river; always itself, yet ever changing, recognizing no obstacle.” (p. 131)
I first heard about Love by Leo Buscaglia sometime in either middle or early high school, yet, like many of the books on my shelf, I never read it. Yet, the part that always stuck with me is an anecdote about drawing trees–we are told, when we are young, to draw one in art class. Everyone draws “lollipop trees,” you know, brown rectangle with a big green bulb atop it, maybe some apples. But for someone who knows a tree, has been in a tree, who loves trees, they draw their own.
Ooh, and here’s the vlog!
When I went to find this book–not on my shelf, but I asked my mother to borrow her copy–it was nowhere to be found. Turns out, we lent it to someone years ago. So, off I went to Amazon to track it down. Let me tell you, it was an adventure–I had no idea that a new version of this little red book was so valuable.
Then again, I should have expected it.
If, you were to read any book from any of my blogs, it should be this one.
This book, as Buscaglia puts it, is “hardly a deep philosophical or definitive work on love, nor a scholarly exploration of the phenomenon.”
It is one man’s own journey, that he has shared with his students and all people he has ever met. It is an observation of what love is–it’s necessary, it’s confusing, it’s both the greatest and most difficult thing to experience. It’s not what we see in the movies, it’s something deeper. It makes us who we are, it changes us, it helps us grow.
This is not necessarily a book that tells you what love is, but it is one that gives you a variety of different frameworks within which you can view “love.” Within which you can determine what love really means to you.
Love is, and Buscaglia points this out, something that we all search for, to some degree. We all crave the connection it evokes; and yet, love is disregarded, it is made fun of, it is underrated. Repeatedly, Buscaglia reminds readers that love is so important, and yet when a person lives and grows in love, they are often labeld (and subsequently dismissed) as a hopeless romantic.
Yet, it is something that brings us together. We want it, we’re scared of it, it’s always there.
“Love has meaning only as it is experienced in the ‘now’… Would he not be foolish, then, to gamble his present security for a doubtful future?” (pp. 106, 122)
“To love oneself is to struggle to rediscover and maintain your uniqueness.” (p.138)
“Love and the self are one and the discovery of either is the realization of both… When man has love he is no longer at the mercy of forces greater than himself, for he, himself becomes the powerful force.” (pp. 140, 142)
“If one wishes to be a lover he must start by saying ‘YES’ to love.” (p. 152)
“Hope is a beginning. Love is forever.” (p. 172)
Without a doubt, this was a joy to read, and I recommend it to anyone and everyone. Buscaglia’s insights and anecdotes are sure to make you think about love and its place in your life. I especially loved how he looked at love from a very wide lens. For example, in the beginning of the book, he asserts that love’s antithesis is not hate, but apathy; for even hate is a feeling toward someone or something. Then, later, he points out how as much as we love love (or the idea of it), it’s difficult to attain because it’s so easy to get caught up in the negativity and in fear, and that those interfere with love. At the same time, he says that love is not blind optimism, it’s like the saying where when you love someone, truly, you love the whole them, “warts and all.”
I do hope that you love and appreciate this book as much as I do. I think that it’s a wonderful piece looking at something we see everyday, but often overlook.
That’s all I have for now! Look out for my next blog/vlog on Yogi Cameron’s The Yogi Code.