In this era of staggering divorce rates, it is increasingly rare to meet a couple who married in the ‘60s and are still profoundly in love. Bo and Sita Lozoff are living testimony to this possibility.
You don’t have to be around them long before you realize that there is something intriguing about this couple. Bo explains that he and Sita don’t see themselves as being in a relationship at all; instead, they view the sacred institution of marriage as a merging of two people into one entity. They represent one force in the world, not two. In short, their concept of marriage flies in the face of society’s obsession with individualism.
Bo and Sita also operate as one in the business of running the Human Kindness Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting simple living and compassion for others. Bo is the author and spokesperson, and Sita keeps everything organized and running smoothly. Does this mean she has settled for a subservient role? “The thought is absurd,” says Sita. Besides, she adds, “Who says writing books and being better known is more important or more fulfilling than working in the background? We each do what we do best.”
While both Bo and Sita respect the efforts of women to fight against oppression and gain equal opportunities and rights, she feels that the feminist movement has gotten bogged down in the larger “cult of individualism.” “But enough about me. . .” is a line you often hear in the Lozoff household because they believe that freedom and happiness lie in a simple, unself-centered life of service. “Personal power is not a solution to oppression,” says Bo. “It’s the exact same feeling of smallness and self-centeredness at its other extreme.”
The Lozoffs, who live at the Kindness House in Medane, North Carolina, with their 25-year-old son Josh and a small group of foundation workers, have devoted their marriage to the service of others, which Bo claims has allowed them to move beyond romance and sentimentality. Sita agrees. “I think the whole notion of romance is based on not really knowing each other,” she says. “That’s why it’s one of the first things that goes. But I feel we love each other more and are more affectionate than we have ever been.”
Since the following interview is with Bo, it’s worth noting that Sita likes it that way. As she puts it, “We are both speaking, but Bo has the mouth.”
Interview available only in print (November-December 1996). Back issues can be ordered here.