Dr. Felice Leonardo Buscaglia Ph.D. (31 March 1924 – 11 June 1998), also known as "Dr. Love," was an American author, motivational speaker, and a professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California.
- It is when we ask for love less and begin giving it more that the basis of human love is revealed to us.
- Born For Love (1994)
- As soon as the love relationship does not lead me to me, as soon as I in a love relationship do not lead another person to himself, this love, even if it seems to be the most secure and ecstatic attachment I have ever experienced, is not true love. For real love is dedicated to continual becoming.
- It's not enough to have lived. We should be determined to live for something. May I suggest that it be creating joy for others, sharing what we have for the betterment of personkind, bringing hope to the lost and love to the lonely.
- One does not fall "in" or "out" of love. One grows in love.
- This loving person is a person who abhors waste — waste of time, waste of human potential. How much time we waste. As if we were going to live forever.
- Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.
- We need not be afraid to touch, to feel, to show emotion. The easiest thing in the world is to be what you are, what you feel. The hardest thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don’t let them put you in that position.
- We need others. We need others to love and we need to be loved by them. There is no doubt that without it, we too, like the infant left alone, would cease to grow, cease to develop, choose madness and even death.
- To love oneself is to struggle to rediscover and maintain your uniqueness. It is understanding and appreciating the idea that you will be the only you to ever live upon this earth, that when you die so will all of your fantastic possibilities. It is the realization that even you are not totally aware of the wonders which lie dormant within yourself.
Speaking Of Love (1980)
- Go around — listen to how many times a day you say, "I love" instead of, "I hate." Isn't it interesting that children, as they learn the process of language, always learn the word "no" years before they learn the word "yes"? Ask linguists where they hear it. Maybe if they heard more of "I love, I love, I love" they'd hear it sooner and more often.
- DON'T MISS LOVE. It's an incredible gift. I love to think that the day you're born, you're given the world as your birthday present. It frightens me to think that so few people even bother to open up the ribbon! Rip it open! Tear off the top! It's just full of love and magic and joy and wonder and pain and tears. All of the things that are your gift for being human.
- Who is the loving person? The loving person is the person who loves him or herself. I say this so often, and people say, "Oh yes, you're so right," but they don't do it! You will never be able to love anyone else until you love yourself. Even With your Fat Thighs!
- The hardest battle you’re ever going to fight is the battle to be just you.
- When I wrote my book, LOVE, it was really funny, because my publisher said, "Oh, Leo, you're going to have to change the name because I'm sure that someone has used that name before." I said, "Why don't you send it in and see what happens?" So we sent it in and I got the "copyright" for LOVE! No one had ever thought of a book called simply Love. L-O-V-E. Such a good word. Such a limitless word. Such a limitless concept.
- Love is life. And if you miss love, you miss life.
Living, Loving, and Learning (1985)
- People are not here to meet your expectations.
- To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
- I have a lot of things in my classes that I call "voluntarily mandatory." One of the things that is voluntarily mandatory is that every student come to see me in my office at least once. I cannot teach bodies. I can only relate to people. And so I say, "Come in, and we will sit across from one another. I don't want to talk about the texts or the class. We can do that another time. I just want to know the last time you saw a unicorn and do you still believe in primeval forests. And when you come, I am going to touch you — and if that bothers you, take your tranquilizer." It is amazing how many are intimidated by someone who says, "I want to touch you." I was raised in a large Italian family, as most of you know, and everybody hugs everybody all the time. On holidays everyone gets together, and it takes forty-five minutes just to say hello and forty-five minutes to say goodbye. Babies, parents, dogs — everyody's got to be loved! And so I have never suffered that existential feeling of not being. If someone can hug you and not go through you, you are. Try it sometime.
- About two years ago a young lady came into my office, and I knew immediately something was wrong. Her eyes were kind of glazed, and her head was nodding, and I asked, "What's the matter" She replied, "Oh, Dr. Buscaglia, in order to get enough courage to come to see you, I had to drink a whole bottle of Ripple! And I think I am going to be sick!" Imagining... having to drink a bottle of Ripple to summon up the courage to come to see me. All I do is put my hands out and say, "Hi." I cover their hands with mine and lead them into my office, and I can see a look of panic on their faces, "What's he going to do to me?" I am not going to do anything to you! I just want you to know that I cry, too, and I feel, too, and I care, too, and I don't know everything, too, and therefore, we can start with a common frame of reference — human being to human being. If anybody tries to play the game of "follow the guru" with me, they will be lost, for they will learn that I am just as confused as they are. The difference may be that I know it. A Buddhist teacher once said to me, "Why do you keep moving? You are already there." And all of a sudden it occurred to me — my goodness, I am!
A Magazine of People and Possibilities interview (1998)
- I started my Love Class as a result of the suicide of one of my most talented students. She showed no sign of her despair. Then one day she took her life. I had to ask, "What's the good of all our learning, knowing how to read and write and spell if no one ever teaches us the value of life, of our uniqueness, and personal dignity?" So I started my Love Class. I taught it free of salary and tuition just so students could have a forum to consider the truly essential things. I really didn't "teach" the class. I facilitated it — helping the students to discover their own magic.
- We take love for granted. We assume we are all perfect lovers and all we need do is wait and our love will grow and blossom as readily as a flower in spring. Not so. Love doesn't grow unless we do. It takes patience, knowledge, experience, determination, and every positive trait we possess. In addition, love is always changing and unless we stay aware and change with it, it eludes us.
- We are all born with God-given, unique traits and skills. But, as with all possibilities they will remain unrealized unless they are developed, nurtured, and put into practice. You may have the "capacity" to love, but if left undeveloped, you will never gain the "ability."
- A life of love is one of continual growth, where the doors and windows of experience are always open to the wonder and magic that life offers. To love is to risk living fully.
- I don't believe in unconditional love. In fact, I think it's unwise. My love has had a condition that if ever my love keeps you from you, from your growing, and realizing your personal potential, then I must step aside. No one has the right to stand in the way of another's joy, development, or unique perceptions.
- We live in a small world. Not a leaf falls that doesn't affect a myriad of things. When we reach out to someone in love and the effect is made — everyone, everything which comes in contact with the person we've effected is better for it. Of course, the converse is true, too.
- The essence of love is getting out of oneself and into others. When we care less about our feelings, our rights, our happiness, our security, etc., and begin to concern ourselves with the feelings, rights, happiness, and security of others, we will have found the true power of love.
- We can ask ourselves daily what we have done to make the world a better place, to make someone smile, to help someone to feel more secure, etc. It's the simple things which have the greatest effect. We must never underestimate the strength of a smile or act of kindness.
- We are born for love, but it will die if not nurtured.
- You can't imagine the joy I feel when I hear that something I've said or done or written has helped others to regain their sense of dignity, to motivate them to develop their unique potential, to encourage them to reach out to others in love.
- I have learned that love is the most powerful force available to us. When we have real love we have the strength to perform miracles.
- I'd like to be remembered for being a good, kind, loving, gentle man who attempted to live wisely, and who cared a lot.
- Leo Buscaglia and Felice Foundation official site.
- Selected Moments of the 20th Century: 1969 Leo Buscaglia teaches Love 1A at the University of Southern California
- Buscaglia at the "My Hero" Project
- Interview & "Love Quiz"
- "Learn the Joy of the Moment" by Leo Buscaglia, PhD
- "Loving Through Death" by Leo Buscaglia, PhD
- Obituary at USC Alumni News