6 Answers

  1. In short, it is quite simple. According to Fromm, people are driven by one of two attitudes: to have or to be.

    For example, you can study to “have a diploma” or to “be a specialist”. The difference here is approximately that in the first case we are talking about a static state (“I got a diploma, recognize me”), and in the second – about a dynamic state (“I act as a specialist, so I can be considered a specialist; I am ready to work, make mistakes, correct them, constantly learn something new”). In addition, in the first case, we are talking about formal, external acquisitions; in the second, we are talking about internal, substantive changes.

    Another example: you can “have a wife” or “be a husband”. And these, as you can easily see, are two different behavioral settings. The latter clearly implies more work on yourself, personal responsibility, etc., while the former rather indicates a tick in the list of what you have (car, apartment, cow, wife, etc.).�

    “To be”, of course, is evaluated positively by Fromm, and” to have ” – negatively. This is the difference between “being” and “seeming”, “working on yourself” and “accumulating external attributes”. According to Fromm, one can tell a lot about a person's personality and how they will build their life from what model of behavior prevails.

    Giving the floor to Fromm himself (“To have or to be?”):

    1. Possession and being are not just certain individual qualities, such as the expressions “I have a car”, “I am white”,” I am happy”, etc., but two main ways of existence, two different types of orientation and self-orientation in the world, two different character structures, the predominance of one of which is decisive for everything that a person thinks, feels, and does.

    2. When existing on the principle of possession, the attitude to the world is expressed in the desire to make it an object of possession, in the desire to turn everything and everyone, including oneself, into one's own property.

    3. As for being as a mode of existence, we should distinguish between its two forms. One of them is the opposite of possession … and means love of life and genuine participation in the existing; the other is the opposite of appearance, it refers to the true nature, the true reality of a person or thing, as opposed to deceptive appearance…

  2. According to popular opinion, Fromm's idea sounds like ” do you want checkers or go for a ride?”

    It would be interesting to find the “watershed” and the corresponding level (non)of conformism in different social systems .

  3. Each person can assume or describe anything and interpret it as his own vision, or the conclusion will be true for him, but this does not mean that others will accept his vision as an axiom. This is not the right approach to other people's statements, and only the author of these theories can interpret his vision. Based on the above, only Fromm can interpret his statement. With respect.

  4. In short, to have is the work of one center, and to be, three, is to know, feel and feel everything that is related to a particular situation or issue.

  5. If there were no difference between “having” and “being”, then it would be impossible to explain why “the rich cry too” – they have everything, they should by definition be happy. But precisely because there is a fundamental difference between” having “and” being”, we see that to be happy you don't need to” have “anything, just”be” is enough. Remember, ” Do you want to be happy? Be it!” But people who have an internal “have” program running can't just jump into the “be”paradigm. Well, just like a left-handed person can become a right-handed person. Hence the answer: why am I unhappy? But I still do not have that, and here is that. I.e., thus, not the person, but the surrounding circumstances are “to blame” for his misfortune. A very convenient position of “victim”. But there is no way out – nothing depends on me! Those who have the “to be” program do not need external reasons for happiness, because it depends solely on themselves. Therefore, they are responsible for their happiness to themselves, and they do not blame anyone for its absence, except themselves. They have a clear algorithm – they decide what they should do, and do not wait for circumstances to develop. There is a reactive type of behavior in the former, and an active type in the latter. Therefore, some manage to cry in contentment. others are happy in small ways. And they will never understand each other – the value basis of their personalities is completely different.

  6. It seems to me that most and the vast majority of people belong to the category of “having”, because this feeling is akin to instinct, from infancy to pull everything to themselves-this is for them the state of”being”. Well, at least that's how the majority of people in our country behave, maybe because of poverty. But the true (and not a game) state of joie de vivre, involvement, openness to the world must be cultivated in yourself-this is a state of high spirituality or something. There are few such people and few people understand them.

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