My typically "Hey, you inspire." feature for this week is on hiatus until next Tuesday. Life complicates things some times, and I know this more than most. The lovely Heidi Larsen has met some unexpected obstacles and will be spotlighted here next week.
In the mean time, here's an extra little inspiration.
A long long time ago I was rummaging around a local thrift store, like I do when I need distraction or some time to myself and I came across a book that sparked my interest.
The book was yellow, a color that has always grabbed my eye, and it had the word "love" in the title. It was only a quarter, so an investment was obvious.
I've always been fascinated by love. Not in the romantic sense, but in the literal sense. (I actually don't enjoy 97.3% of all typical 'chick flicks') Love is an effort. It's work and the things that drive it have always been intriguing for me.
You know those people that are just really good at loving? I like those people.
I began to read Dr. Buscaglia's book and found out that he was a professor. A professor of love actually. Literally. Dr. Buscaglia was also so fascinated by love that he made it his life's work. A couple decades ago you could have even enrolled in his college class so aptly called "Love" at the University of Southern California.
I read the whole book and loved it. It talks about human disconnectedness and how important it is for us to reach out to one another. One interviewer's article on Buscgalia's explained him like this:
"Buscaglia's enduring trademark which endeared him to millions of his fans was his practice of unselfconsciously touching or hugging nearly everyone with whom he came into contact. As he explained, “The psychological benefits of hugs are just now being discovered. It's like to power of laughter. We're finding that laughter gets a hormone in action that's a natural pain killer.”
I like hugs. I'm a fairly tactile person. I like connected-ness. Actually, I get a bit mad without it. Additionally, when I love something, it's not really passive. In college, one of my best friends used to tease me about how I didn't just love things.... I really really really loooooooved things.
Over the years I've felt somewhat validated by Leo Buscaglia's life work. In the past my interest in love and connectedness had sometimes felt frivolous or cheesy but Leo's passion had helped me realize that this interests were valid causes, even subjects worthy of scholarly endeavor.
When Dr. Buscaglia was asked once to sum up what message he was trying to say to people he responded like this:
"I'm trying to say something that has been said a thousand times or more, and probably better than I, but say it very simply; and that is, that life can be a celebration. We choose whether or not we want to celebrate it. If we want to live it fully, experience it fully, it's all there for us like it is for everyone else. If we don't, that's also our prerogative. But I would hope that people who don't choose to live fully in joy and in love and in peace would stop putting their hate and their despair and their inadequacies on other people."
It is for this reason that I wanted to shed a quick spotlight on Dr. Buscaglia. His message is simple. Simple, but sometimes very difficult to employ.
I also like that I can justify my irrational excitability with the little things in life because a well respected professor and writer does too.
Can we all be a little bit more Leo?