To be rich! Now, jokes aside. She says: "I am not fond of philosophical essays. I think a little philosophy should be added to life and art by way of spice, but to make it one's speciality seems to me as strange as feeding on nothing but pickles" Philosophy is, to me, a kind of brain game. A little like Sudoku, only with ideas inst To have or to be? A little like Sudoku, only with ideas instead of numbers. Yes, it all tallies up, well done, but what am I supposed to be getting out of it?
For this OCD reason or another I decided to tackle this jar of pickles. You probably already have some general idea of what these two modes are. Also apparently it is today — May 21st, At the same time, he presents us with the long history of consumerism, disease as old as the humankind itself. He even postulates that the fear of death would desert us if we do that.
No wonder that chapter was only a page long. He also condemns any rivalry, like, God forbid, the Olympic Games. He talks about how we have created a religion out of possessions. So maybe he has a point. He says that we are a society of people permanently unhappy, lonely, fearful, depressed, destructive, addicted… Wow. Really, are we? He explains that consumerism leads to unhappiness because nothing will satisfy us. I am going to keep my possessions, I like them very much, thank you.
Nonetheless, he did win me over just a little bit at some point. He went straight up loco. I beg to differ; I think there has been quite enough. My country, for example, lost 50 years to one of those experiments. Here is what we should do: First we all need to admit we have a problem and that we are unhappy. Then a true change in our characters will occur. Once that is done, more changes in the political structure should be implemented, as follows. There should be a council created that would assess utility of ALL the products entering the market, and products that are not found to have any utilitarian value but that only drive people to unbridled consumerism would have to be distributed with special warnings.
This council will be made up of psychologists, anthropologists, philosophers and theologians. Meanwhile the government will subsidize the production of all the useful products until people start buying them and the subsiding will no longer be necessary. Though, of course, Fromm admits that the biggest difficulty lies in making the consumers realise that they are against consumerism. There should also be created hundreds! Those groups will, of course, be free from any external influence or pressure.
Except for that, there should also be created Cultural Council that would hire about people and be generously financed so it can commission all sort of specialist research and advise the government. It would also be in charge in gathering ALL the information and news and presenting it to the citizens in an objective manner as newspapers and other traditional media cannot be trusted in that matter. It would supervise a big group of journalists who would supply all that objective information. Well, at least that would solve for good the problem of unemployment.
View all 16 comments. Nov 05, Hans rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , paradigm-shifting. Absolutely brilliant book. It takes a lot for a book to move me, or present a new idea that totally affects my perceptions of reality. This book got right to core of a deep-seated culturally accepted norm that was so hard to see I didn't even realize it was there. I have been aware of others talking about the alienating nature of Western culture without getting at the heart of why it is alienating. Erich Fromm makes it simple to understand; it is entirely our life-orientation towards having over Absolutely brilliant book.
Erich Fromm makes it simple to understand; it is entirely our life-orientation towards having over being. This may seem insignificant but it is huge and influences every aspect of our lives. Fromm contends that an orientation towards having creates a subject - object relationship with our environment. We interact with it through trying to possess it, through trying to possess property, knowledge and even people.
Don't agree? Just look at these common expressions "I have a wife and two kids" or "I have a Liberal arts degree". I am the possessor they are the objects, instead of "I am a Liberal Arts major" or "I am a husband and a father of two". It seems small but it betrays how we have come to almost unconsciously define our world. It also has further implications that we enlarge and find fulfillment in our lives through not just possessing but possessing more.
It is interesting to me that upon pondering why some men physically abuse their wives I was always confounded by why the unwarranted cruelty towards the mother of their children and oftentimes best-friends. That is when after reading this it all clicked, and that for these men they view their wife and children as property "objects" and thus he can do as he pleases. I mean this even explains Jealousy. If you view relationships as property that you have, like "I have a best-friend" than you will obviously suffer from jealousy when you feel someone else has trespassed against you and your "property".
This book has caused me to seriously evaluate my own life and how much of it I spend intellectualizing and categorizing in the name of trying to possess an understanding of it. All the while neglecting to simply be fully present and live without judgement, without analysis but be completely lost inside the very present of being.
I will definitely work on this.
To vs. Too
I also enjoyed how Fromm has essentially conceptualized and 'westernized' Buddhist and even mystical christian thought, into something not only more palatable for the agnostic western student, but for the western mind in general. Only the old, the tried, is safe; or so it seems. Every new step contains the danger of failure, and that is one of the reasons people are so afraid of freedom" "One has only to recall the wild, crazy enthusiasm with which people participated in the various wars of the past two centuries the readiness of millions to risk national suicide in order to protect the image of "the strongest power," or of "honor" or of profits.
And for another example, consider the frenzied nationalism of people watching the contemporary Olympic Games, which allegedly serve the cause of peace. Indeed, the popularity of the Olympic Games is in itself a symbolic expression of Western paganism.
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They celebrate the pagan hero: the winner, the strongest, the most self-assertive". Jesus thus becomes an idol; the belief in him becomes the substitute for one's own act of loving. In a simple, unconscious formula: 'Christ does the all the loving for us; we can go on in the pattern of the Greek hero, yet we are saved because the alienated 'faith' in Christ is a substitute for the imitation of Christ" "Finally, I believe that human beings are so deeply endowed with a need to love that acting as wolves causes us necessarily to have a guilty conscience.
Our professed belief in love anesthetizes us to some degree against the pain of the unconscious feeling of guilt for being entirely without love" "I cannot have a problem, because it is not a thing that can be owned: it, however, can have me. The relationship is one of deadness, not aliveness" Jun 18, Leonard rated it really liked it Shelves: psychology , favorite.
Do we live in the realm of objects, to get them, to manage them, to secure them, to use them? Or do we live in the realm of experiences, to sense our surroundings, to relate to other, to understand ourselves? Fromm published the book in , but his analysis of society r To have or to be?
Fromm published the book in , but his analysis of society remains relevant for our contemporary life. All of which makes it especially difficult for people to comprehend the nature of the being mode, and even to understand that having is only one possible orientation. This book reveals to us the other mode of living, the being mode, and helps us understand the arena in which we live and the challenges we have to overcome.
And I wonder whether he was in the having mode when he proposed such a solution. Still, I recommend this book for the insight into one dimension of the human condition—the dynamics between having and being. This book lays out the landscape of our contemporary society along this axis, and helps us assess our mentality and way of life and navigate the obstacles between the two modes of living. View 2 comments. Jan 07, Mary rated it it was amazing. An amazing read! Fromm completely changes your perspective on life and what it means to truly live I recommend reading it not only once, but multiple times throughout life Aug 23, Tanvika rated it it was amazing Shelves: redemption , living-now.
Classic introduction on an important question: how to live? I particularly, like the way Fromm tears slowly and gradually our commonsensical beliefs.
See a Problem?
Be it, the views on love or sanity or living itself. He firstly presents the widely accepted belief of having in the modern society. Having means the belief that the our relation is with an object. A having person derives meaning in life by possessing and accumulating products, ideologies, other people. This way of living is fairly common. Visibly, Classic introduction on an important question: how to live? Visibly, terrorists, nationalistic fanatics, middle classes, addicts. One identifies with the object to seek completion of the void within. The most dangerous consequence of this mode is that the person is caught in a loop of passive fulfillment by frequent stimulations like soma, sports in BNW.
Rising anxiety and stress to secure these objects results in suspicion and isolation from other fellows. Fear of death follows as it will break the illusion of permanence with the object. Caught in distractions, there is little time to pay attention to the manipulations by leaders and companies. My thoughts over this mode is that it is building on the hypothesis that humans are greedy. They can be incentivized by lollipop of money and status endlessly on the basis of a rat race. I think this hypothesis can easily be disproved.
Even rich and successful people face severe depression and can harm themselves. Buddha, being well off, gave it up to free the world from suffering. There are empathetic qualities in humans like helping others during tsunami, raising voice against injustices like apartheid etc. I think most of the people are indoctrinated to pursue the path of excessive materialism. This is done by parents initially because they equate it with happiness. The other institutions like school, media, company etc also promote this mindset because of their vested interest.
The other alternative considered by Fromm is the being mode.
Table of contents
It is a state of activity. Here he presents a important distinction between busyness and being active. Being busy, is passive engagement with what one is doing.
I was reminded of the truckloads of boring assignments I have to write in University. While, being active is a active involvement with what one is doing. When I write papers I have to go through with a fine-toothed comb just to pick up on those small mistakes. I wrote a somewhat similar post a few weeks back on my blog. Thank you! I see these errors all the time, and they make me crazy. Those for whom English is a second language get a bit of a break, but most of the perpetrators were born here.
No excuses! If you make a comment about a news article or write a blog and want people to take you seriously, check your work. I have to restrain myself from correcting people on Pinterest! This also drives me crazy! I agree. The colorful pics makes this worthy of framing and hanging on my wall. Now I am worried if my grammar was write…whoops…right. Great post: especially valuable for students, teachers and copywriters; but also for, actually, anybody interested in the English language.
Very sound principles. Very useful to read. Thanks for pointing out our follies. I stand corrected each and every time I make such mistakes, which is often. It is time for me to change my ways or join the swelling ranks of the unemployment line. It is okay to make mistakes as long as you learn from those mistakes. Have a good one. I love this because it treats these grammar goofs in a fun way. I know a lot of people feel stress about writing and grammar rules, so an infographic like this really adds a scoop of sugar to the medicine.
LOVED this article! It really bothers me when simple grammatical errors are made in articles, signs, ads, etc. Thank-you for the great little reminder lesson! This type of grammar was the stuff I learned back in elementary school. In spite of that, I agree that there should be no excuses. I am sending this to some friends that learnt English as a 2nd language plus I posted on FB since it could be used by maaaaaaaaaaaany people!
One thing social media has done, is exposed just how poor we are in writing and grammar. I read some posts that are nearly illegible because of poor sentence construction. Great graphic. I will share this with my editing clients. My problem has always been affect or effect. Good one, Brian — all my pet peeves! Well, most of them. Good stuff!
My favorites are the erroneous headlines you see on newspaper websites every day. I wonder if anyone who actually should implement the ideas above will read this, or will it only be us grammar and spelling geeks, for whom this stuff is obvious. To actually implement those concepts would require at least a little analytical ability. You have a point, Dave. I sometimes feel that way, too. It seems that if these folks are surrounded by examples of others using words correctly, either print or spoken words they absorb it by osmosis and begin using the correct grammar automatically.
The same thing happens when incorrect grammar including spelling is consistently used around them; they absorb that and it becomes automatic for them. I love this infographic and plan on sending it out to the students in my tutorials. Thanks again for the post! I literally have never looked at it that way. Yeah, i had to, but good point. I have a peeve about water heaters. People continue to call them hot water heaters— why? A similar phrase is water hydrant.
Can you have a hydrant that pumps something besides water? The phrase the fire department uses is fire hydrant. This redundancy can make reading laborious instead of fun. Some more that immediately come to mind are:. This article pissed him off. Very humorous and also useful!
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I just shared this on my blog, twitter and facebook. So many of the mistakes in this infographic run rampant in social media and blogs. Text messaging and web grammar are ruining languages in my opinion. Interesting graphic. But there are also times when using the correct word gives others the impression the speaker is in error. But who winds up looking like the moron? Even the magnificently persnickety Paul Brians thinks we have to give up on this one, though. Lack of gender distinction with nouns makes English easier. I wonder how that word evolved. Sonia, you are correct that the original French word was fort meaning strongest point as in the blade of a sword.
They originally spelled it with the Italian spelling of forte without the accent. My response was a pun on the whole history. Can someone delete the first entry of my response on the moderator end? Good point! My mother the French teacher takes this to an extreme related to your thought — she insists on pronouncing every French item on a menu with correct French circa Then I lower the boom on them later. Mispronunciation is fun. And perfect topic too, I hope to see a lot of more infographics on copyblogger and on writing in general.
I learn visually, and I think that infographics are a beautiful way for us right-brained creatives to learn. Are we pissing in the wind here? Those of us who care about writing endeavor to write right properly. Other than the sexy part, you boiled that baby down to two sentences. Be clear, be concise. Big gold star for you! A great example of a writers staple. I especially like the inclusion of Unfortunately, the winner usually does not affect things in a good way. Great commentary! I find it especially annoying when news readers, journalists, teachers, principals, etc.
If one reads a lot of edifying material from whichever medium , one will read the spelling, proper usage, and correct phrasing of the various words in use. I think what gets me most huffle-puffled is the lack of conscientiousness within people themselves in assuring that their own word choices are the best they can be.
It adds emphasis where emphasis is desired. It simply adds emphasis 1. Your partnership with Blueglass is a match made in heaven. I needed that. This was a great post! I think we all might have our times of fumbling grammatically. I agree that when writing takes on a more conversational tone the rules are loosened up a bit to comply with the atmosphere.
I agree with the ones you listed! Great article! This is one of my biggest pet peeves. I love this infographic and will be including it in a blog post. Grammar is something that is still a work in progress for many…to the chagrin of many more. Thanks for putting this together! Love it! The noun affect is restricted almost entirely to psychology.
Do you ever intentionally make a grammatical error? Ending a sentence with a preposition is the best example. I have been told that ending a sentence on a preposition is considered acceptable now. I know what you mean but in most cases, you can rephrase the thought to sound even better than your original sentence. All of the above rephrasings sound better than the original and convey the same meaning — without the dangling preposition problem.
Content that reads like it was written by your English teacher is often ineffective content. Unless your customers are English teachers, of course. Your writing will be far clearer, sound more professional, and, as you choose to make it a writing habit, it will spill over into your conversational style. You will automatically choose the words that convey your meaning without a dangling preposition. I heartily disagree with your statement that writing correctly can be ineffective or is only effective with an English teacher.
Remember, you can rephrase the sentence to be casually chatty and grammatically correct simultaneously, so why not? When you do, everyone benefits. But Latin grammar should never straitjacket English grammar. That principle is sound, of course, but not to the extent of meriting lockstep adherence or flouting established idiom. Don, I agree with you that choosing not to end a sentence with a preposition is a matter of style and not a rule of composition. The sentence is still too loose. Regardless of any rules or allowances from anyone — historically or contemporarily — written communication can be laser-clear with the introduction of a few rephrasings here and there.
Thus, fewer misunderstandings and more harmony all around. This is stuff you learn in the first year of learning English. It surprises me that native speakers have so many problems with these super simple grammar principles. This type of error makes it into the media way too much. Thanks for sharing the html. I posted it on my school website and my personal website. I love Grammar!
To Have or to Be? - Wikipedia
Especially if I find I made the mistake oh the knots in my stomach! How does a perfectionist hire an assistant? Love this graphic! James, you can contact their infographic team through the form on the bottom of this page. Good one! In your example above, there is neither a contraction nor possession so an apostrophe is not used.
Another all too common mistake is using apostrophes instead of quotation marks. I see this all the time and I asked several people about it. Their response? Also, in the US, commas and periods always go inside quotation marks, not outside. This convention is consistently followed in academia and throughout the publishing industry. Yes, this is so. Since this printing was authored by none other than Samuel Webster, it was adopted as gospel.
Thereafter, Webster attempted to correct his own mistake but was overwhelmed by the large-scale adoption of this error. Ever since, this error has been considered correct in the US. Did you ever wonder why all the rest of the world so adamantly continues to place the quotation marks within the period where it would logically go?
Whatever its history or logic, it steadfastly remains the convention here in the US. Following strict logic would have them outside the quote, which is why it probably became the standard elsewhere, but this looks ugly to some. Please refer to my post dated Mar. The trend is indeed toward eliminating the pluralizing apostrophe in these and other instances. Nonetheless, exceptions do endure—and for good reason. I was basing my statements on forms that best express clarity of communication. It is only one good, current authority on such matters, but it does reliably establish those exceptions to the proscription against the pluralizing apostrophe.
I too was having problems with it.. It is not. Pronouns replace nouns. The English possessive adjectives are my, your, his, her, its, our, their, and whose. The English possessive pronouns are mine, yours, his, hers, its, ours, theirs, and whose. Example of possessive adjective: This is my car. Sorry, Katie, but the mistake here is yours. In grammar, these example sentences above are known as 3rd conditionals or Perfect conditionals. The person saying the sentence is showing regret, or wants to change the past situation. Adjectives vs Adverbs - English grammar rules. How to say 'ough' in English pronunciation.
Blog Image:. Should you write 'would have' or 'would of'? Is there a difference between the two? Is would've a word?