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Reconnecting With Past Heroes

It’s appropriate that I begin this post with Joseph  Campbell. My friend and partner, Christina Makrides, asked if I had seen the movie, The Hero’s Journey, and had I any thoughts about Joseph Campbell and his work. I had heard of the movie, but hadn’t watched it, and you can join me in catching up with a quite profound work!

I did actually meet Joseph Campbell, very briefly, after attending a workshop of his on Personal Myths at an Association for Humanistic Psychology Conference in the mid-1970s.  I also watched his amazing interviews with Bill Moyers, done shortly before his death in 1987. And a quote of his is a favorite of mine:

follow-your-bliss

But, in the weird way my mind works, thinking of Joseph Campbell got me to thinking about other people I had known or met who made their big mark on the world by doing PBS specials. Sometimes we get so caught up in the shiny new things, the new motivational and inspirational gurus, if you will, that we forget the treasures the shiny old things still have to offer. These include Leo Buscaglia and Barbara Sher–both of whom I got to spend time with during their pre-international fame periods in the 1970s and early 1980s.

I suggest Googling Leo and Barbara to find out more about their contributions to our perceptions and lessons on how to have a better life.

I first met Barbara Sher when she attended one of my MoneyLove Seminars, and her first book, Wishcraft, had just come out. She was rather shy, but obviously knew what she was talking about and later developed the skills that now have her doing programs around the world. On the other hand, I knew Leo Buscaglia quite well, having spent some all-night chat sessions with him and a few friends lying on bean bag chairs in the Cornucopia growth center in Miami, Florida.

Leo’s stories and ideas about love and the human spirit are timeless, and I interviewed him for several of my books, including MoneyLove. His first book, LOVE, had very small sales at first, as it was published by an unknown medical publishing house. I offered to introduce him to my editor at Doubleday, then the largest U.S. publisher, but he declined, saying he liked the people at his publisher’s, even if he wasn’t making a fortune or having big sales. Of course, after he started sharing his unique speaking style with PBS audiences in the 1980s, he became one of the biggest authors ever, once having five titles on the NY Times Bestseller List at once.

Leo was unique in many ways and his love energy was palpable and contagious. He is the only speaker I’ve ever experienced who, just with the magic of his words and delivery, had audiences standing up and hugging each other when his talk ended. If you haven’t seen him in action, or even if you have, check out some of  his presentations on YouTube. A Shiny Old Thing that still delivers in a way no one else ever has.

Jerry

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