The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

eden ahbez

George Alexander Aberle, who lived much of his life by the name eden ahbez, was a forerunner of the hippie movement. He was a barefoot, wandering songwriter who espoused love and nature in the 1940s and ‘50s, well before the rise of 1960s counterculture. The long-haired, robe-wearing mystic was a Brooklyn native who spent much of his adulthood in California, at one point camping under one of the “Ls” of the famous Hollywood sign. He kept his name lowercase because he felt only God and a few related words should be capitalized. This line comes from his song “Nature Boy,” which was covered and made famous by Nat King Cole, bringing ahbez into the public eye in 1948. With it, ahbez reminds us that while people busy themselves in pursuit of success and achievement, our true purpose and fulfillment in life is determined simply by love.