To have or to be, with or without a question mark, is a sentence that poses a rather difficult question. The original title of thework by Erich Fromm, author of the question and of a thousand answers, had a question mark, the graphic sign is gone but the dilemma remained in the minds of many.
Even today, discussing the most disparate issues, from politics to fashion, from literature to gossip, everything then seems to be attributable to a question of having or being. That's why the Fromm's book it is not a reading for the elite passionate about philosophy and sociology, but an essay that speaks to everyone about the desire, of all or at least of many, to possess useless objects. Power, greed and selfishness, let's call it what we want but the question always remains: to have or to be? Question that leads to questioning about sharing, love, generosity, creative and constructive activities, or not, that fill our days.
To have or to be: phrases
As you will see from those reported, it is not a question of aphorisms kisses in silver paper. These are difficult concepts to chew.
"Modern consumers can label themselves with this formula: I am = what I have and what I consume."
"Love and respect for life in all its manifestations, with the awareness that not things, power and all that is dead, but life and all that is pertinent to its growth have a sacred character."
"The implicit attitude in consumerism is that of swallowing the whole world."
"The desire to experience union with others also manifests itself in the lowest forms of behavior, for example in acts of sadism and destruction, no less than in the supreme forms, such as solidarity based on an ideal or a conviction . "
To have or to be according to Erich Fromm
I certainly do not allow myself to steal the word from Fromm, I limit myself to advising you to get the book. It does not read like a novel but it is to be kept on the bedside table to leaf through the words of this scholar from time to time and ask ourselves what we are doing. What imperative prevailed in our day: to have or to be?
To have or to be: analysis
In Fromm's work, the question of what it may be is mainly addressed an alternative to our current life trying to have more and more objects. Having it as the only end, as the only action, as a guide to any other verb.
Another important question on which it is good to dwell is that of either-or: we must necessarily choose whether to have or be, or we can achieve a reasonable blend. Just being, nowadays, is a utopia, at the same time, not being but just having, it is a disease of the soul that I do not wish on anyone. Living without anything is impossible but living without being is equally so.
TheFromm's linguistic approach which asks us to reflect on the language and the words we use every day to talk about us. The goal is to cultivate a new way of posing that is balanced, concrete, aopen to our nature and others and rich in shared values. Because it is good to be, as long as you are in tune with others, with someone from the others.
To have or to be: advice
For this purpose we can read have or be by Fromm taking notes on what can be useful in everyday life. After a few pages we will realize that we will begin to look at our actions in a different perspective in which the polarity "have or be" prevails. At this point, a new era of being ourselves opens up.
Speaking of being oneself and having a father or a daughter, I recommend the article on Electra complex
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