by Leo Buscaglia
“Emotional detachment, maintaining our distance from others, is being prescribed as a solution for avoiding pain. Neglect and abuse of children and the aged is a growing problem. Social and religious institutions, which in the past helped to set standards of behavior and brought people together in companionship, are actively downgraded. Individualism, independence, and personal freedom are valued above love, commitment, and cooperation.
Examining the complex nature involved in loving each other (the dynamic and everchanging nature of two or more unique and whole individuals agreeing to emerge and blend in a long-term commitment) is not an easy task. Nevertheless, that is the purpose of this book. It seems to me vital and necessary, since material dealing with the dynamics of loving each other is rare. Without this knowledge we end only by living together in hate, fear, loneliness, and continuing to hurt each other in ignorance. Happily, the choice is still ours to make.
Like everyone I know, my life, too, has been a long series of interwoven relationships, both good and bad. I value them all. For it was mainly through these relationships that I survived my infancy, completed my childhood, ended my adolescence and moved toward a dynamic state of growing to maturity. They have been living lessons in meeting defeat, letting go and overcoming fear. They have helped to free my spirit and eradicate my fear of loving. My relationships are still my major source of stimulation, causing me to remain open, curious, eager to learn and challenged by change. Now I understand more than ever the poet W.H. Auden’s remark, "We must love one another or die!"
Isn’t it time that we forget our petty egos, give up our fear of appearing sentimental or naïve and come together in our universal need, one for the other? Why is it so difficult for us to embrace each other fearlessly and with passion and say, "Human being, take my human hand?"