Leo Busacaglia


American Author, Motivational Speaker and Professor in Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California

Author Quotes

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

The most human thing we have to do in life is to learn to speak our honest convictions and feelings and live with the consequences. This is the first requirement of love, and it makes us vulnerable to other people who may ridicule us. But our vulnerability is the only thing we can give to other people.

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.

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.

If you ever expect to be loved, you must reveal who you are.

Hold on to your dreams for they are, in a sense, the stuff of which reality is made. It is through our dreams that we maintain the possibility of a better, more meaningful life.

The only lasting trauma is the one we suffer without positive change.

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 - to fill the void or need; and third, a conscious dedication to the process of growth and change - the willful act of making the change: doing something.

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.

A life without passion is not living, it's merely existing.

Man seldom questions the fact that ugliness and evil are to be found in the world. But he's never as ready to accept that life also offers unlimited beauty and potential for joy as well as endless opportunities for pleasure.

Things omitted are often more deadly than errors committed.

We need to learn to let go as easily as we grasp and we will find our hands full and our minds empty.

Happiness and love are just a choice away.

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.

Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.

Child development: Most damaging course of action is attempting to keep children from experience or protect them from pain, for it is this time that children learn that life is a magic thing, if "not a rose garden." The parent's role is primarily to stand by with a good supply of band-aids.

Responsibility of any kind can seem intimidating and for this reason man may often be afraid of truly deep relationships with other human beings. A relationship suggests to him the most extreme of responsibilities. It implies a burden, a restriction of freedom, seldom the converse. A student in love class, for instance, commented, “I’ve always been afraid of deep relationship because of the responsibility it seemed to impose. I was afraid of the demands it would make of me and I worried I wouldn’t be able to meet those demands. I was amazed to find that when I did get the courage to form a relationship, I actually became stronger. I acquired two minds instead of one, four hands, four arms, four legs, and another’s world. In joining forces with someone, I got twice the strength to grow, with twice as many alternatives. Now it’s easier for me to love others. I am stronger and I am less afraid.” He had discovered an important insight.

Love is trusting, accepting, and believing, without guarantee. Love is patient and waits, but it's an active waiting, not a passive one. For it is continually offering itself in a mutual revealing, a mutual sharing. Love is spontaneous and craves expression through joy, through beauty, through truth, even through tears.

"To be is to do," says the existentialist. "One only becomes real (human) at the point of action."

Man is happiest when he is creating. In fact, the highest state of which man is capable lies in the creative act.

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.

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.

One does not fall 'in' or 'out' of love. One grows in 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.

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American Author, Motivational Speaker and Professor in Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California