With Love. . . Leo
Leo Buscaglia

  

Tonight I would like to talk to you about something really important to me.  I'm constantly meeting people and working with people.  And I'm becoming so very concerned because the people I meet are so wonderful and so beautiful, and yet they are afraid to show their wonder and show their beauty.  They are in constant doubt about being beautiful and wonderful.  If there is to be any hope for us as lovers, we've got to make sure to express this love and this caring and bring it out into the open and not be afraid.

So tonight, I would like to talk to those people who aren't sure yet and are a little bit reticent about being all that they are.

It's amazing--you may not realize it, but so much of what you are not is because you are literally standing in your own way of becoming.  And what I'm going to talk to you about tonight is, get the hell out of your way!  Fly, because it's all available to you!  And all you have to do is take the responsibility and do it.  But so many people don't trust themselves.  They don't even like themselves.

I was in the office recently--many of you know that I have a lot of things in my classes that are voluntarily mandatory.  And one of the things that is voluntarily mandatory is that everybody come to visit me.  Now, that isn't asking too much, and I get frightened people who come in all trembling.

I had this lovely girl who sat across from me, and I said, "Tell me about yourself.  We're going to be together for 16 weeks in classes, and I don't want you to be a stranger.  You tell me about you, and then I'll take over and tell you about me."

And she said, "I don't have anything to say."

I said, "What do you mean?  Tell me about all your wonder."

She said, "Wonder?!"  And then there was a long pause, and she said, "Well, I'm too short."

That had never occurred to me until she told me.  And then I thought, well, I'll counteract with something good.  I said, "Yes, but you're a darn good student.  Do you know that you got an A on your mid-term?"

And she said, "Sheer luck."

How do you like that?

I said, "But you know that you're unique in all the world. . . ."

"Not me.  I'm not unique," she said.  "And besides, I'm not very good-looking, and not a lot of people seek me out.  And I'm lonely a lot of the time."

It occurred to me that if she really believes that she's short and ugly and stupid and has nothing to contribute, why would anybody seek her out?  Oh, did I work on that one!

When she walked out, she was four inches taller.  And if I ever see her lean over again, there's going to be hell to pay.

Jack Parr says a wonderful thing.  He says, "My life seems like one long obstacle course, with me as the chief obstacle."

Isn't that great?

I always love to mention the book Souls on Fire by Elie Wiesel.  It's a beautiful book, and he makes a statement I really love.  He says that when you die and you go to meet your Maker, you're not going to be asked why you didn't become a messiah or find a cure for cancer.  All you're going to be asked is, why didn't you become you?  Why didn't you become all that you are?

There are no two people in this audience who are alike.  Isn't that a message to tell you--that you are unique and you have something to say?  And isn't it a message that you have a right to say it before you leave the face of the earth?

How often have you heard yourself say, "I'm nothing"?  You're nothing if you think you're nothing. . . .

You are a miracle.  You have something to share that nobody else in the world has.  To keep that hidden because of self-defeating ideas is to die less than you are.  Don't let that happen.  Your greatest responsibility is to become everything that you are, not only for your benefit but for mine.

  
  


 
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