Let the Name Be Wonder
 
Leo Buscaglia

  

How then, do we come in contact with ourselves?  Number one, by becoming aware.  Isn't that a nice word--aware?  It kind of hits you right where it matters, doesn't it?  To be aware.  To be aware of everything.  To be aware of life.  To be aware of growth, to be aware of death, to be aware of beauty, to be aware of people, flowers, trees.  Open your mind and begin to see and feel!  Begin to experience, and don't be ashamed of it!  Touch, feel, chew, as you never have before.  Keep growing!  Keep consistently growing.  Every moment that you do, you change.  Open your mind, open your heart, open your arms, take it all in.  You can keep taking and taking and taking, and what is, never runs out.  There's always more.  The more that you see in a tree, the more that there is to see.  You hear a Beethoven sonata, and it leads you to infinity.  Pick up a book of poetry, and it leads you to beauty.  You love one person, and that love leads you to hundreds.  Keep growing.

Find alternatives.  The patterns that you are in are only one possibility.  There are thousands of possibilities for everything. . . . There are not only a million alternatives, but some that haven't been dreamed of yet.

Dichotomies:  good, bad, right, wrong--nonsense!-- normal, abnormal--no such thing but gradations and possibilities and creativity.  I have a blind girl in my class now who is far more normal than I.  She sees--definitely.  She says, "It is as normal for me to be blind as it is for you to see."  What is normal?  What is right?  What is wrong?

As long as you are free, you are free to select and choose alternatives, provided that you are willing to accept the responsibility for being free.  And after you've tried your alternatives, and they don't work as you would wish, don't blame me.  Blame your choice.  Try another alternative.

You make the decision, you take your paintbrush, you choose your colors, you paint your paradise, and then you live in it.  Or paint hell if you want to, but don't blame me for it.  Only you can be responsible for not being.  Forget what was.  Get hooked on what is!  The moment will take care of that.  Life isn't an isolated phenomenon but it is part of the general experience, constantly influencing and being influenced by every new moment.  You don't like where you are?  Then change it!  Be someone else.  Do your thing for a change, and learn from what happens.

And another thing--don't avoid negative states.  Negative states can teach you a lot.  Don't avoid people who create negative states in you.  We have a tendency to turn around and walk away, but they are going to require you to reevaluate yourself and see yourself in a new light.  Sally doesn't upset you.  You upset you.  She puts you in a negative state because she doesn't meet your expectations.  Well, tough for you!  The cause for your pain is not Sally--it's you.  Learn from your negative states.

Another thing I learned in Asia that I'd like to give you, which may be pretty far out for some people, and if it is, discard it:  Rid yourself of expectations.  Buddha once said a magical thing.  He said, "When you cease expecting, you have all things."  That is wondrous.  "When you cease expecting, you have all things."  If you go around doing your thing without expectation, then you already have everything you need.  If they do give you something in return, you take it with open arms.  It should always come as a surprise.  But if you expect a response and it comes, it's a bore.  Cease expecting, and you have all things.  Take whatever people give you.  If you appreciate it, hug it, kiss it, and take it in joy, but don't expect it.  If you want pain, just go around with expectations.  People are not here to meet your expectations.

Finally, all you really need is in you.  All you have to do to realize it is to recognize it.  You are the perfect you.  And to tamper with perfection is to court pain.  Grow into your perfection.

I want to end with a quote from Bynner's translation of Lao Tzu's The Way.  This book sums up what I have been talking about but much more beautifully than I.  Isn't it fantastic that all books of wisdom are always so small?  It has taken me an hour and fifteen minutes to say what it takes Lao Tzu fifty words.

Existence is beyond the power of words to define.  Terms may be used but none of them are absolute.  In the beginning of heaven and earth there were no words.  Words came out of the womb of matter.  And whether a person dispassionately sees to the core of life or passionately sees the surface, the core and the surface are the same, words making them seem different only to express appearance.  If a name be needed, let the name be wonder, and then from wonder to wonder, existence opens.

If a name be needed, wonder names them both.  From wonder into wonder existence opens.

The you of you is limitless.  The children that we work with, no matter what label we put on them, the essential they, that which is immortal, is limitless.  Those of you who have worked with children know that they have limitless potential, no matter how much they've realized.  All we have to do is make it possible for them to recognize it in their way and be there to help when they need help, support, encouragement.  "And if the name be wonder," they are all going to succeed.
  
   

Living, Loving, and Learning
 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.

Read more on wonder here.

  
   

True and lasting wonder needs to be renewed regularly, even daily.  Otherwise,
life's inevitable formula will be:  Wonderful is followed by wonder-half-full,
which is followed by wonder-quarter-full, which quickly becomes wonder-less. 
If you want to make your capacity for awe as wide as the sky, you must take
preventative action.  Otherwise, you'll end up as a wonderless wanderer
and life will cease to be a joyful adventure.

Edward Hays

  


 
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