I don't know about you, but I don't feel that
it's my vehicle that is essential. I don't know
about you, but I don't feel that it's my education
that is essential. I don't think what is essential
about me is my house or my car or my clothes.
What is essential about me? Well, I think what is
essential is that I live and embrace life right now,
wherever I am. I grab it in my arms! Don't
spend time crying about yesterday--yesterday is over
with! I forgive my past. I forgive the people
who've hurt me. I don't want to spend the rest of my
life blaming and pointing a finger. I get so sick
and tired of hearing people gripe about what their parents
did to them. You know what your parents did to
you? The best thing they could do. The
best thing they knew how, the only thing in many cases
that they knew how. Nobody has set out maliciously
to hurt their child, unless they were psychotic.
Can you forgive? Can you forget? Can you
say it's "OK"? Can you say, "They are
people, too"? and you take them in your arms and
embrace them? Then take your self in your
arms. Find out again that you are special,
that you are unique, that you are wondrous, that in
all the world there is only one of you. Hug
yourself, you sweet old thing! Sure you've
screwed up, and sometimes you do dumb things and you
forget that you are a human being, but the most wonderful
thing about you is that, no matter where you are, you have
potential to grow.
You are just starting.
There is only this much of you now, and there is an
infinite amount to discover and to find! Don't spend
your time crying! Forgive others!
Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not
being perfect. And accept responsibility for your
Nikos Kazantzakis says, "You have your brush, you
have your colors, you paint paradise, then in you
go." Do it! Take orange and magenta and
blue and purple. . . and green, and yellow--and
paint your paradise. You can do that!
You can do it right now. It's your life that is
I don't know how many of you are acquainted with Arthur
Miller's wonderful play called After the Fall. It's probably one of the most underrated
works of American literature. He wrote it right
after the suicide of Marilyn Monroe, who had been his
wife, and he tried to ask the question I tried to ask
myself earlier, and that maybe many of you have asked
yourselves: What could I have done to have saved
someone in my life? This was a play that said,
"I have to learn to forgive. Others and
myself." In it he has a beautiful thing that
I'd like to share with you. One of the healthier
characters says this:
"I think it is a mistake to ever look for hope
outside of yourself.
One day the house smells like fresh bread, and the next,
and blood. One day you faint because the gardener
finger. Within a week you're climbing over corpses
bombed in subways. What hope can there be if that is
"I tried to die near the end of the war. The
same dream returned
to me each night until I dared not go to sleep, and I grew
dreamed I had a child. And even in the dream I felt
that the child
was my life, and it was an idiot, and I ran away from
it. But it always
kept climbing into my lap, and clutching at my clothes,
until I thought,
if I could kiss it, whatever was in it that was my own,
could sleep again. And I bent to its broken face,
and it was horrible.
But I kissed it. I think, Quentin, one must
finally take one's life into
one's own arms, and kiss it."
Fantastic statement. It doesn't matter who
you have hurt, if you've learned not to hurt again.
It doesn't matter what mistakes you've made as long as you
don't make them again. As long as you learn, as long
as you're willing to take your life in your own hands, and
kiss it and go on from there. Then there is
growth. Then there is life!
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.