Choose the way of life. Choose the way of
love. Choose the way of caring. Choose
the way of hope. Choose the way of belief in
tomorrow. Choose the way of trusting.
Choose the way of goodness. It's up to
you. It's your choice. You can also
choose despair. You can also choose
misery. You can also choose making life
uncomfortable for other people. You can also
choose bigotry. But what for? It doesn't
make sense. It's only self-flagellation.
But I warn you that if you decide to take full
responsibility for your life, it's not going to be
easy, and you're going to have to risk again.
Risk--the key to change.
I want to read you this: "To laugh is
to risk appearing the fool." So
what? I often say that people look upon
Buscaglia as being some sort of a nut. Crazy,
he is! But I'm having a blast while the sane
person is dying of boredom.
"To weep is to risk appearing
sentimental." I'm not afraid to
cry. I cry all the time. I cry in joy, I
cry in despair. Sometimes I read my students'
papers and I cry all over them. I cry when I
see people happy. I cry when I see people
loving each other. I don't care if I appear
sentimental. That's tough. I like
it. It cleans my eyeballs.
"To reach out to others is to risk getting
involved." What else in life is more
important than becoming involved? I don't want
to stand on an island by myself. The very fact
that you and I are together means that we were meant
to be that way. Let's find ways of making it a
"To show your feeling is to risk exposing
your humanity." Well, I'm glad to expose
my humanity. There would be a lot worse things
to expose than my humanity.
"To place your ideas and dreams before the
crowd is to risk their loss." That's all
right. You can't win 'em all. And you
cannot be loved by everybody. There's always
going to be someone who says, "He's a
jerk. Come on, Mabel, we've heard enough of
this. Let's go home." And you know,
that's good and that's valid. You can't be loved by
everybody, that's for sure.
I always tell, and I write about it, and many of
you have heard this a thousand times, but I love it
so much. In Love class one night when a girl
said, "I know why I'm so despairing all the
time. It's because I want to be loved by
everybody, and that's a human impossibility. I could
be the most delectable, the most delicious, the most
wondrous peach in the world, and I could offer it to
everybody. But there are people who are
allergic to peaches. Then they may want me to
be a banana." And so often we become a
banana for other people who want peaches. What
a messy fruit salad. Isn't it all right to say
to them, "I am so sorry I cannot be a
banana. I would love to be a banana if I could
for you, but I'm a peach." And you
know what? If you wait long enough, you'll
find a peach lover. And then you can live your
life as a peach, and you don't have to live your
life as a banana. All the lost energy it takes
to be a banana, when you're a peach!
"To love is to risk not being loved in
return." And that's all right too.
You love to love, not to get something back,
or it isn't love."
"To hope is to risk pain." And,
"To try is to risk failure. But risk must
be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to
risk nothing. The person who risks
nothing does nothing, and is nothing. That
person may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he or she
simply cannot learn, feel, change, grow, live, or
love. Chained by certitudes or addictions,
that person is a slave. He or she has
forfeited our greatest trait, and that is our
individual freedom. Only the person who risks
To keep you hidden, to lose you because of
self-defeating ideas is to die. Don't let that
happen. Your greatest responsibility is to
become everything that you are, not only for your
benefit, but for mine.
Living, Loving, and
is a delightful collection of
Dr. Buscaglia's informative
and amusing lectures, which
were delivered worldwide
between 1970 and 1981.
This inspirational treasure is
for all those eager to accept
the challenge of life and to
profit from the wonder of love.