On this day, March 23 in the year 1900, one of the most respected modern psychologists and philosophers was born in Frankfurt, Germany. His name is Erich Fromm.
Here are some of his words of wisdom to ponder in the age of Coronavirus.
1. Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.
2. Immature love says: “I love you because I need you.” Mature love says: “I need you because I love you.”
3. Love is often nothing but a favorable exchange between two people who get the most of what they can expect, considering their value on the personality market.
4. If a person loves only one other person and is indifferent to all others, his love is not love but a symbiotic attachment, or an enlarged egotism.
5. Love is union with somebody, or something, outside oneself, under the condition of retaining the separateness and integrity of one’s own self.
6. Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.
7. Mother’s love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved.
8. Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.
9. One cannot be deeply responsive to the world without being saddened very often.
10. To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.
11. Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
12. The capacity to be puzzled is the premise of all creation, be it in art or in science.
13. The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.
14. If I am what I have and if I lose what I have who then am I?
15. The danger of the past was that men became slaves. The danger of the future is that men may become robots.
16. There can be no real freedom without the freedom to fail.
17. We all dream; we do not understand our dreams, yet we act as if nothing strange goes on in our sleep minds, strange at least by comparison with the logical, purposeful doings of our minds when we are awake.
18. Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is. The most important product of his effort is his own personality.
19. Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?
20. The successful revolutionary is a statesman, the unsuccessful one a criminal.
Which quote do you like best?