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    Art Of Loving Essay (1165 words)

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    Upon reading Erich Fromm’s The Art of Loving, I gained a better understanding of what love really is. Fromm’s book puts love into perspective. He begins with several facts with regards to the attitude in which people treat love. They are the problems of how to be loved, the object to love as well as the confusion between the initial experience of falling in love and the permanent state of being in love, which had a great impact on me, as far as thinking about what love is. Strangers meet, they break down social walls between one another, and they feel close, as one.

    They supposedly fell in love with one another, to Fromm, falling in love is not love, it’s more infatuation. Fromm describes it as “one of the most exhilarating and most exciting experiences in life. Fromm argues that this initial infatuation feeling slowly and naturally loses it miraculous character overtime, as the couple gets more acquainted and learn more and more about each other. Fromm says that problem occurs when people confuse feelings of infatuation for proof of the intensity of their love. The feelings of infatuation eventually subside and the result is the wish for a new conquest, a new love with a new stranger.

    Again the stranger is transformed into the “intimate” person, and again the experience of falling in love is exhilarating and intense and it once again slowly becomes less and less and once again the cycle repeats itself. Fromm says that these illusions are greatly helped by the deceptive character of sexual desires. Sexual desire can be stimulated by the anxiety of being alone, the wish to conquer, vanity, or the wish to hurt or even destroy someone. Some people mistake sexual desire with the idea of love, they are easily misled to conclude that they love each other when they want each other physically.

    Fromm states that if a person’s desire for physical union is not stimulated by love, and romantic love is also not coupled with other forms of love, it will never lead to a union more than an “orgiastic, transitory sense. ” So what will end up happening is the person who gets scarred by love will begin to destroy or sabotage love in the future, in order to avoid the painful feelings associated with love gone wrong or to avoid vulnerability and basically not surrender to love.

    Fromm asks, is love an art, or is love a pleasant sensation or feeling which to experience is a matter of chance, i. . something one, “falls into,” if you are lucky. Fromm asserts that love is an art, and says that to truly love, in all it’s forms, you must possess Maturity, self-knowledge; and Courage. Many people pursue objects of affection, or objects of love, and treat them as possessions. Fromm states that love is the ability to love in different forms, brotherly love, romantic love, motherly love etc. Since Fromm says that love is an art to be practiced, it can only be practiced in freedom with one another.

    You can not treat others as objects or possessions for your own egotistical or selfish purposes because this behavior will only result in destruction and you will never mow or attain true love. Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development states that in order to find intimacy and know “who you are,” you must resolve your conflict in the “Identity vs. Role Confusion” Stage. Some individuals who never find true love can be thought of as not having successfully completed the stage. They never resolved their conflict thereby resulting in role confusion. Fromm states that in order to love, you must have self-love.

    How can you love yourself, if you don’t know “who you are? ” This is what I feel creates the possessive love, the hurtful love, and the love that is taken for granted. It’s the one nightstand; “I’ll call you” love. Fromm describes what he calls the essential components that need to be mastered for all forms of love: Care, the active concern for the life and growth of that which we love. Responsibility, to be able, willing and ready to respond to the needs of others. Respect, concern that the other person can grow and develop as he/she is on their own, and to be aware of their unique individuality and knowledge.

    I agree with Fromm that motherly love is unconditional. He says that a mothers love for her child is one formed at the time of conception. She will love her child no matter what. I can relate to this because as a mother of four children I can honestly say that I knew true love when I had my first child. It was a feeling of extreme joy and happiness, I knew that this child depended on me to take care of him. A mother bonds with her child. It’s a love that I don’t think a father can truly understand because a man does not carry the child for nine months.

    He doesn’t feel it grow, kick and move. It’s a very special experience. I do not agree with part of Fromm theory of fatherly love. He states that “Father is of law and order, of discipline, of travel and adventure. Father is the one who teaches the child, who shows him the road to the world. ” As a child, my mother was all of the above. She was the one I feared. She did all the disciplining and let us know what she expected of us. Of course, my father disciplined us but he was less strict than my mother was. My mother taught me about life, not my dad.

    I was what you called “Daddy’s Girl. ” He had a soft heart when it came to my sisters and my brother. My husband is another example I can use. Although we are separated, we were together for 15 years, within that time he was never really there for my children. I was, and am their disciplinary figure, I teach them about life, and I talk to them about the right and wrong paths they can take. I am sorry to say he was a terrible father. He did all the wrong things, due to his drinking. He was verbally abusive to us, and physically at times, with me.

    So I cannot agree with Fromm on this point. I am the one preparing my children for the future, not him. I am not saying Fromm is wrong, only that I do not find the theory to be true due to my personal experiences. Fromm concludes that love is not a feeling, it is a decision, and it’s a judgement, a promise. To love means to surrender and commit without guarantees, It is an act of utter faith. I feel I have a better understanding of what love is and that if more people understood that true love is not about being loved, but about loving, this world would be a better place.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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