— Leo Buscaglia Motivational speaker, writer 1924 - 1998
Living, Loving, and Learning (1982), Context: 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.