who is in control of your life, you are important

33 Erich Fromm citations about true love, happiness, freedom, anxiety and loneliness

1. The main task of man is to give life to himself, to become what he is potentially. The most important fruit of his efforts is his own personality.

2. We should not give anyone an explanation and report until our actions cause pain or infringe upon others. How many lives were destroyed by this need to “explain”, which usually means that you are “understood”, that is, justified. Let them judge by your actions, and on them – about your true intentions, but know that a free person should explain something only to himself – his mind and consciousness – and to the few who have the right to demand an explanation.

3. If I love, I care, that is, I actively participate in the development and happiness of another person, I am not a spectator.

4. The goal of man is to be himself, and the condition for achieving this goal is to be a man for himself. Not self-denial, not self-love, but self-love; not the rejection of the individual, but the affirmation of one’s own human self: these are the true supreme values of humanistic ethics.

5. In life there is no other meaning, besides what person gives to it, revealing its strength, living fruitfully.

6. If a person can live not in compulsion, not automatically, but spontaneously, then he realizes himself as an active creative person and understands that life has only one meaning – life itself.

7. We are what we ourselves have inspired and what other people have inspired about us.

8. Happiness is not some kind of a gift from God, but an achievement that a person achieves with his inner fruitfulness.

9. For a person, everything is important, except for his own life and art to live. He exists for anything, but not for himself.

10. A thinly sensitive person can not refrain from deep sadness about the inevitable tragedies of life. And joy and sadness are the inevitable experiences of a sensitive, full of human life.


11. The unhappy fate of many people is a consequence of the choices they have not made. They are neither alive nor dead. Life turns out to be a burden, an invaluable occupation, and deeds are only a means of protection from the pangs of being in the realm of shadows.

12. The concept of “being alive” is a not static concept, but a dynamic one. Existence is the same as the disclosure of the specific forces of the organism. The actualization of potential forces is an innate property of all organisms. Therefore, the disclosure of human potentials according to the laws of its nature should be regarded as the goal of human life.

13. Man does not suffer so much from poverty today as he suffers from the fact that he has become a cog in a large machine, an automaton, that his life has become empty and lost its meaning.

14. I am sure that no one can “save” his neighbor by making a choice for him. All that one person can help another is to reveal truthfully and lovingly in front of him, but without sentiments and illusions, the existence of an alternative.

15. Life poses a paradoxical task for man: to realize one’s individuality on one hand, and to surpass it on the other, and come to experience universality. Only comprehensively development a person can rise above his self.

16. If the child’s love is based on the principle: “I love, because we love,” then mature love proceeds from the principle: “I love, because I love.” Unripe love yells: “I love you, because I need you!”. Mature love reasons: “I need you, because I love you.”

17. Selfless obsession with each other is not a proof of the power of love, but only evidence of the immensity of the loneliness that preceded it.

18. If a person experiences love according to the principle of possession, this means that he seeks to deprive the object of his “love” of freedom and to keep it under control. Such love does not give life, but suppresses, destroys, strangles, kills it.

19. Most people believe that love depends on the object, not on its own ability to love. They are even convinced that, since they do not like anyone other than the “beloved” person, this proves the power of their love. There is a delusion – installation on the object. It’s like the state of a person who wants to paint, but instead of studying painting, he insists that he just needs to find a decent nature: when this happens, he will paint superbly, and it will happen by itself. But if I really love a person, I love all people, I love the world, I love life. If I can say to someone “I love you”, I should be able to say “I love everything in you”, “I love you because of the whole world, I love in you yourself.”

20. The nature of the child is a cast from the character of the parents, it develops in response to their character.


21. Few parents have the courage and independence to care more for their children’s happiness than for their success.

22. If a person is able to fully love, then he loves himself; if he is capable of loving only others, he can not love at all.

23. It is commonly believed that falling in love is already the height of love, while in fact it is the beginning and only the possibility of finding love. It is considered that this is the result of the mysterious and attraction of two people to each other, an event that takes place by itself. Yes, loneliness and sexual desires make love easy, and there is nothing mysterious, but this is the success that just as quickly goes away as it came. Accidentally do not become loved; your own ability to love causes love in the same way that interest makes a person interesting.

24. A person who cannot create, wants to destroy.

25. Strangely enough, but the ability to be alone is a condition for the ability to love.

26. How important it is to avoid empty conversations is just as important to avoid a bad society. By “bad society” I understand not only vicious people – their societies should be avoided because their influence is oppressive and harmful. I also mean a society of “zombies”, whose soul is dead, although the body is alive; people with empty thoughts and words, people who do not talk, but talk, do not think, but express dissenting opinions.

27. In a loved one, one must find oneself, and not lose oneself in it.

28. If things could talk, then the question “Who are you?” The typewriter would answer: “I am a typewriter”, the car would say: “I am a car” or more specifically: I am a “Ford” or a “Buick” , or “Cadillac”. If you ask a person who he is, he answers: “I am a manufacturer”, “I am an employee”, “I am a doctor” or “I am a married man” or “I am a father of two children”, and his answer will mean almost the same as the answer of the talking thing.

29. If other people do not understand our behavior – so what? Their desire that we do only as they understand it is an attempt to dictate to us. If this means being “antisocial” or “irrational” in their eyes, let. Most of all they are offended by our freedom and our courage to be ourselves.

30. Our moral problem is the person’s indifference to himself.

31. That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane.

32. Man is the center and purpose of his life. The development of one’s personality, the realization of all internal potential is the highest goal, which simply can not change or depend on other supposedly higher goals.

33. To die is poignantly bitter, but the idea of having to die without having lived is unbearable.

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