Did You Watch CSI Last Night?

October 22, 2010


Last night at the end of CSI, Laurence Fishburn got to speak a bit of poignant script. He spoke about the philosopher, Eric Fromm, who wrote about having or being so I looked it up on Google:

To Have or To Be (1976) was Erich Fromm’s last major work. In it he argues that two ways of existence were competing for ‘the spirit of mankind’ – having and being. The having mode looks to things and material possessions and is based on aggression and greed. The being mode is rooted in love and is concerned with shared experience and productive activity. The dominance of the having mode (as he argued in The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness) was bringing the world to the edge of disaster (ecological, social and psychological). Erich Fromm argued that only a fundamental change in human character ‘from a preponderance of the having mode to a preponderance of the being mode of existence can save us from a psychological and economic catastrophe’ (1976: 165) and set out some ways forward. (excerpt from http://www.infed.com)

So are you having or being? Thinking back, it seems that a lot of people remember their best times were when they didn’t have much. Kind of like in ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, this harkens back to kids loving the box the toy came in more than the toy. I was fine using my potato peeler to grate cheese for years, for example. Remember those days?

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