Eric HofferEric Hoffer, (1902-1983) American author, philosopher, awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

Eric Hoffer Quote

“The real "haves" are they who can acquire freedom, self-confidence, and even riches without depriving others of them. They acquire all of these by developing and applying their potentialities. On the other hand, the real "have nots" are they who cannot have aught except by depriving others of it. They can feel free only by diminishing the freedom of others, self-confident by spreading fear and dependence among others, and rich by making others poor.”

Eric HofferEric Hoffer
~ Eric Hoffer

The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955)

Ratings and Comments

Robert, Sarasota

Only a "Have" would make that statement. He has the statements the wrong way round... We love to put the poor and "have nots" in one happy bucket - it makes us feel jusified in not giving up a part of our wealth.

Mike, Norwalk

lol Robert, I believe the air in your retreat of denial and philosophical fantasies are real thin. Though I’m not an individual of many means, I am, by the definition offered, a 'have'. I donate many hours a week to charity, frequently donate financially, and in the wake of Katrina spent well over 12 weeks working with church groups and other volunteers. There were far more 'haves' helping the needy than there were your socialist buddies from the government (have-nots)

E Archer, NYC

Robert well knows that true fulfillment has nothing to do with wealth. 'My cup runneth over' does not refer to an absence of poverty. Buddha renounced his wealth and position. Hoffer has it right. We are in a better position to 'serve' when we come from a place of wholeness already. Getting that 'there is nothing to get' is a good start to recognizing all we indeed do 'have.' ;-)

Ronw13, Yachats Or

The lips of the right know what is acceptable. An hypocrite with his mouth destroys his neighbor : but through Knowledge shall the just be delivered. There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing : there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches. The ransom of a man's life are his riches: but the poor hears not rebuke. One of the greatest accomplishments in life, honing ones potentialities to a degree of professionalism, affording him the ability to contract with confidence. Securing wealth for the self and family. The " middle " is not measured in wealth, but in the ability to Manage ! It seems Robert despises the wealthy, he desires the net of evil men, that lay wait for the uprights riches. Socialism ! Instant recognition, desired by the poor and lazy in spirit. The poor put themselves in their own bucket ! Even operating within a socialistic system, as we have today, the diligent being guided by their integrity shall come to prosper ! Better is an handful with quietness, than both hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. Again, I considered all travail, and every Right work, that for this a man is envied of his neighbor. This is vanity and vexation of spirit !
Ten stars are not enough for this quote !

Mary - MI
  • Reply
Mary - MI    5/15/15

What a well thought out, well rounded quote and statement.
There is nothing wrong with having wealth as long as you do not deprive others of the ability to garner wealth for themselves.
Something that seems to be completely lost and dismissed by the likes of Robert, Sarasota.
For ... if it is by the wealth worked for and garnered by those who display initiative and personal responsibility no matter how large or how small the wealth they have may havee attained there would be no wealth to share or to decide to voluntarily donate to help those in need.


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