I enjoy used book sales, and our library has one every year in the bowels of the building that seems to be overflowing with tables that only really attempt to contain the mountains of books they have to sell. This year I went from room to room, and table to table enjoying the feel, the smell, and of course the many titles that were there for perusing and buying. To me, a book is alive with the thoughts and friends that people the flat worlds on its pages and I enjoy the discoveries I make at events like this one.
There were three books I picked up while getting to know some of the toms that leaned together on those tables to make a part of my very small collection (I haven't much room, so I have to truly love a book to make it part of my family.). One of the books was a small gem that I know I'll be quoting from for a long time.
Leo Buscaglia was a college professor who was loved by his students, and also by the many viewers who got to share in his lectures that were taped and shown on PBS stations around the country during their pledge drives over the years. Known as Dr. Hug, he spread a message of love...love by stepping out of yourself and really getting involved with people you come in contact with, as well as with life itself.
He touched my own life through those lectures. I use to watch them in the middle of the night during pledge drives from my local PBS station. Often repeated over the years, those lectures were absorbed and loved by many who saw his message as totally opposite of what we're hearing from leaders now so many years later. Today, we are told that this group is evil, or that group is out to get us. Maybe so...but how does that kind of fear help us, or change anything? Reaching out from your heart is the ONLY way to change lives and often times that can cost you everything, but it also can change everything.
Leo caught me unaware in the depths of a nasty part of my life and changed the way I look at the world, and live in it. I can honestly say that it changed the way I look at the people around me every single day. When I began to read this tiny book called Papa, My Father, I was once again drawn in by how the man lived his life, what he said, and how he used examples from his own family to tell a story about what is really important in life. I laughed and giggled in parts, and did more than just feel like crying in others. He often would cut his own life open so you could see everything. It was the way he shared what gifts he had to give to the world.
I finished the book yesterday and the last few lines in one of the last chapters have become my own life's mantra. Words on a page are nothing until you somehow chew on them a while, and digest and find that warm glow of life from them for your own life.
A Code For Life
by Dr. Leo Buscaglia
Dance, sing and laugh a lot.
All things are related.
Don't waste time trying to reason with pain, suffering, life, and death.
An animated person animates the world.
Find a quiet place for yourself.
Don't ever betray yourself.
Birth and death are part of a cycle. Neither begins or ends with you.
Stay close to your God.
It's crucial to love.
Idealism is strength, not a weakness.
People are good if you give them a chance to be.
Discrimination, for any reason, is wrong.
Self-respect is essential for life.
Except in the eyes of God, people are not created equal, so we are
all responsible for those who can't help themselves.
Cruelty is a sign of weakness.
Commitment and caring are the basic ingredients of love.
Love is indestructible and therefore the most powerful human force.
Change is inevitable.
People who think they know it all can be dangerous.
I know my motto is a bit long, but I think it really says it all.
Thanks for the reminder, Leo.