The Author grew up in Germany when Hitler came to power and ruled with an iron hand—years of nightly air raids, hunger and utter misery. In the fifties, she spent two years working and studying in England and France. A Fulbright scholarship brought her to Smith College USA. For two years, she says, her smile never vanished. She felt like being in Paradise.
She graduated in 1955 and attended the new Harvard/Radcliffe Program in Business Administration for Women. After a year in the Dominican Republic where her husband was involved in the administration of an American sugar company, they set sail in a schooner from New York through the Panama Canal to California. Eight-inch long icicles swayed from the ship’s rigging. The vessel’s only passenger was their twelve-month old baby daughter. During her midnight watch, she says, a dolphin regularly circled the schooner and gurgled his greetings to her.
They settled in San Francisco where she became the editor of the German newspaper. She taught various courses in the MBA and CPCU programs at Golden Gate University and spent the next 25 years as risk management consultant and editor for Warren, McVeigh’s publications.
Reviews : Says Art Historian and Art Critic B. Shoemaker-Bram: "Great wisdom, worn lightly, no homilies or prescriptions, a primer for youthfulness in the light of long experience."
Or Ruth Moynihan, PhD: “A delightful book! No clichés, just common sense, good imagination, and solid wisdom. Perhaps most important of all, a simple emphasis on the importance of smiling instead of frowning at every alphabetic stage of growing old!”
In any language “Love” is the most important noun and verb. The world’s literature attests to it.
In our culture and language we may want to distinguish between two types of love — love between two souls, i.e. romantic love, and the love we feel for everything else.
Romantic love seems to be essential for life to exist and to propagate. Yet words cannot explain love nor do it justice. Letters can spell out I love you but only the heart can convey and understand the meaning of love.
An ancient Greek legend explains it thus. The First Man, so it says, was a truly awesome creature. He had four arms and four legs, and a head with two faces. Zeus, the ruler of the Greek heavens, did not like him. He feared his power and split him in two — a Man and a Woman — and he condemned both of them to spend the rest of their lives in search of their other half.
How do we tell the difference between truly loving someone and simply being infatuated? We truly love someone when we care more about his or her happiness than we care about our own.
What would you consider the opposite of love?
Wait wait! Don’t tell me!
No, it can’t be hate. Many people live in a love/hate relationship. Their hate is not caused by a lack of love, it is caused by their ego that feels slighted or does not get what it is seeking or expecting.
The opposite of love is indifference — when we do not care. Indifference is worse than hate. Having an indifferent partner may be worse than having none at all. So make sure to keep the fires of love burning.
This brings us to our love for everything else. Our planet abounds with objects worthy of our love. Rank them as you like — your children, parents, and family; nature in all its beauty, color and bounty; knowledge, languages and the sciences; creative skills, such as woodworking or gardening, music and the arts; sports and games; and the humanitarian’s passionate compassion for those in need.
The list is endless of what we humans love and love to do. This is fortunate indeed, because what is not done with love and passion is rarely done well. It is done with indifference, indicative that someone did not care.
Need a good gardener? Seek out a person who loves his plants. Forget the gardening service that sends out its eloquent salesman and its hired hands in fancy uniforms.
Of all the loves we confess to, the most important one is our love for life. It is as essential as the air we breathe. Without love and passion for what we do and encounter, life becomes as drab as a sewer line.
A meal cooked with love becomes a feast; when cooked with indifference it’s just plain food.
It is Love that makes Life worth living.
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