For the first glance, it seems silly to discuss "The Art of Being" by Erich Fromm while living in Baghdad, Iraq. Almost daily we hear about somebody being killed by a gun and nothing more. The killers are always unknown.
Lack of security and of basic civilian services: electricity, good schooling, good medical care, etc… leaves us feeling entrapped in a narrow destiny.
Even the Iraqi who got an internal locus of control, according to Rotter's theory, will find his internal locus of control escaping like a frightened rabbit, or rat, when he would hear few bullets shots near him. His locus of control, his rabbit, or rat, is now external.
Freedom from the external restrains is difficult, if not fatal, in Iraq.
What is left for me to read in Fromm's book is that faint awareness of the necessity of freedom from internal restrains to be free from hatred, selfishness, and illusions, and to "Be" in love and compassion.
Another voice is telling me that it is the very best time that one should speak the truth and not respects power, titles, or fame. That it is time to declare that emperor is naked. Meanwhile, I will not listen very seriously to this second voice. I will just keep it in mind in my quotidian shallow affairs. I will only discuss such matters with friends whom I trust.