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Excerpted from Living, Loving and Learning by Leo Buscaglia. Copyright © 1982 by Leo Buscaglia. Excerpted by permission of Fawcett, a division of Random House, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright © by SpiritSite.com.
 


"There is tremendous hope for all of us, but somewhere along the line youíve got to learn to love."

Leo Buscaglia, Living, Loving and Learning, Part 3

There is tremendous hope for all of us, but somewhere along the line youíve got to learn to love. I think many of these things are inside of us, and nothing that Iím going to say to you is going to be startlingly new. What you are going to find is that somebody is going to have nerve enough to stand up and say it, and maybe ,therefore, release it in you so you can say, "Thatís the way I feel, too, and is it so wrong to feel this way?"

Itís very interesting, but five years ago when I started talking of love, I was very lonely, indeed. I remember, and there are some people in this audience who were in that audience, when I stood up with a colleague from another university at a discussion about behavior modification versus affect. After I had been there screaming and crying about love, this gentleman turned to me and said, "Buscalia, you are totally irrelevant." I think I have this singular distinction of being the only human being I know who is irrelevant. And itís groovy! But itís not so lonely now because more people are turning toward affect and studying it.

One of the most crucial developments for me was finding Leonard Silbermanís book, Crisis in the Classroom. If you havenít read it, do, itís fantastic. It probably will be one of the most significant books in education. Itís already on the bestseller list. Anyone whoís interested in children must read Silbermanís book, including parents. It should be available for everybody. This book is the result of a three-year Carnegie Grant given to Leonard Silberman, a great sociologist and a great psychologist, to find out what the state of American education is today. He concludes that considering that in America education is for all, weíre doing pretty damned good job when it comes to reading and writing, arithmetic and spelling. Weíre pretty good at that. But we fail miserably in teaching individuals how to be human beings. Al we have to do is look around us and we can see this. The accent is definitely on the wrong syllable.

In my first year at USC I was teaching a class. Itís an amazing thing Ė I imagine you feel the same thing I do Ė but you pick up vibrations from your audience. Things happen between you and your audience if you are talking to them and not at them.

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