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Today we come across an individual who behaves like an automation, who does not know or understand himself, and the only person that he knows is the person that he is supposed to be, whose meaningless chatter has replaced communicative speech, whose synthetic smile has replaced genuine laughter, and whose sense of dull despair has taken the place of genuine pain. Two statements may be said concerning this individual. One is that he suffers from defects of spontaneity and individuality which may seem to be incurable. At the same time it may be said of him he does not differ essentially from the millions of the rest of us who walk upon this earth.
Erich Fromm (emphasis added by me)

The way I read this is that we are all subject to being educated (in a very broad sense) about what we should be in society. As much as we need guidance to be able to function in the complicated society we have our selves created, this guidance will deprive us of our spontaneity and individuality if we give more attention to fulfilling the expectations of society than to understanding our selves. In short; don’t go on autopilot.

David, you’re late. I know how to skate now
Carman Leung

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