Love Quotes and Sayings
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Erich Fromm Love Quotes and Sayings

Erich Fromm Love Quotes and Sayings

1. Immature love says: ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says ‘I need you because I love you.’

2. To love means to commit oneself without guarantee, to give oneself completely in the hope that our love will produce love in the loved person.

3. Love is an act of faith, and whoever is of little faith is also of little love.

4. Love is union with somebody, or something, outside oneself, under the condition of retaining the separateness and integrity of one’s own self.

5. Selfish persons are incapable of loving others, but they are not capable of loving themselves either.

6. Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision.

7. Love isn’t something natural. Rather it requires discipline, concentration, patience, faith, and the overcoming of narcissism. It isn’t a feeling, it is a practice.

8. Love is not primarily a relationship to a specific person; it is an attitude, an ordination of character which determines the relatedness of the person to the whole world as a whole, not toward one object of love.

9. 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.

10. Love is the only sane and satisfactory answer to the problem of human existence.

11. In love the paradox occurs that two beings become one and yet remain two.

12. Paradoxically, the ability to be alone is the condition for the ability to love.

13. While every human being has a capacity for love, its realization is one of the most difficult achievements.


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Erich Seligmann Fromm (March 23, 1900 – March 18, 1980) was an internationally renowned social psychologist, psychoanalyst, humanistic philosopher and democratic socialist. He was associated with what became known as the Frankfurt School of critical theory.
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Sayings by Erich Fromm

1. Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.

2. Not he who has much is rich, but he who gives much.

3. There is only one meaning of life: the act of living itself.

4. If other people do not understand our behavior—so what? Their request that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being “asocial” or “irrational” in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them. How many lives have been ruined by this need to “explain,” which usually implies that the explanation be “understood,” i.e. approved. Let your deeds be judged, and from your deeds, your real intentions, but know that a free person owes an explanation only to himself—to his reason and his conscience—and to the few who may have a justified claim for explanation.

5. Man is the only animal for whom his own existence is a problem which he has to solve.

6. The quest for certainty blocks the search for meaning. Uncertainty is the very condition to impel man to unfold his powers.

7. Who will tell whether one happy moment of love or the joy of breathing or walking on a bright morning and smelling the fresh air, is not worth all the suffering and effort which life implies.

8. Giving is the highest expression of potency. In the very act of giving, I experience my strength, my wealth, my power. This experience of heightened vitality and potency fills me with joy. I experience myself as overflowing, spending, alive, hence as joyous. Giving is more joyous than receiving, not because it is a deprivation, but because in the act of giving lies the expression of my aliveness.

9. Critical and radical thought will only bear fruit when it is blended with the most precious quality man is endowed with – the love of life.

10. Education is identical with helping the child realize his potentialities. The opposite of education is manipulation, which is based on the absence of faith in the growth of potentialities and the connection that a child will be right only if the adults put into him what is desirable and suppress what seems to be undesirable.

11. We are what we do.

12. Education makes machines which act like men and produces men who act like machines.

13. Only the person who has faith in himself is able to be faithful to others.

14. Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.

15. Understanding a person does not mean condoning; it only means that one does not accuse him as if one were God or a judge placed above him.

16. Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age?

17. The most beautiful as well as the most ugly inclinations of man are not part of a fixed biologically given human nature, but result from the social process which creates man.

18. As long as anyone believes that his ideal and purpose is outside him, that it is above the clouds, in the past or in the future, he will go outside himself and seek fulfillment where it cannot be found. He will look for solutions and answers at every point except where they can be found–in himself.

19. Men are born equal but they are also born different.

20. The right to express our thoughts means something only if we are able to have thoughts of our own.