The Art of Loving
“The art of loving”, written by an American psychologist Erich Fromm in 1957, mainly discusses about three aspects: the reasons of love being an art, the theory of love, and the practice of love. He thoughtfully explains that an art of loving requires many effort and knowledge, comprehensively analyzes the theory of love, and specifically introduces the ways of practice the art of loving. Even if the work is done for about fifty years ago, there still have many remarkable ideas that can be appreciate in recent years. I will discuss about some opinions that I agree and disagree with. In the first part of the book, Fromm discusses about is love an art that requires knowledge and effort, or a sensation that to experience a matter of change. Although the topic of love has always received high recognition and attention, there are some misunderstandings on what love is. First of all, in recent years many people see the problem of love as the capacity of being loved rather than that of loving. They try to be loved or lovable, pursuing the capacity of being successful, rich, powerful, and attractive. They think that only by being loved by others can they truly experience the real love. The second misunderstanding is that people think that to love is simple, while the difficult thing is to find the right object to love or to be loved. In recent decades, our whole culture is based on the appetite for buying, which caused the idea of choosing a “love object”. The attractiveness, personalities, and outlooks of people have become a kind of goods, which are the characters of a love object. For example, two people will fall in love when they think that the other one is the right object available on the market, with consideration of the quantities of their own exchange values. Finally, most people regard the sudden intimacy toward others as the initial experience of falling in love or being in love, while the intensity of the infatuation caused by the sudden intimacy cannot last, it will disappear as the time passing by. In order to avoid these kinds of failure, Fromm suggests that people be aware that since love is an art, they should learn love as learning art. Loving acquires knowledges and efforts because it is more complicated than people may supposed. It should not be regarded as a good because love cannot buy or exchange, and without any certain condition. For example, understanding the theory of love and mastering the practice of love, which he writes in the next chapters. For what Fromm has discussed about, I agree with the first and second errors that he has provided, while I disagree with the third error that the sudden intimacy is not love. In modern society, people are becoming increasingly self-centered; they take precedence of their own benefit, seldom consider if their actions, which will better off themselves, will worse off others or not. For example, companies only take their profit into account, without considering whether the action of increasing the market price will make people unable to afford. Therefore, since to love means to sacrifice to others, most people prefer to be loved, so as to gain a sense of achievement. However, I do not agree with the idea that the sudden intimacy is not one experience of loving. It is true that in order to love someone, people have to understand their partners deeply after they know each other. While a sudden intimacy means that two people are attractive to each other. This attractiveness will lead both of them to have an interest to discover each other’s personality, uniqueness, spiritual world and so on. It is a high expectation of loving. For example, while a man meet a beautiful woman, or a woman with the style the he likes, he will have more patience to try to excavate her virtues. Moreover, even if the sudden intimacy disappeared as the time passes by, the relationship that they have built during those time will help them to...
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