Born in Ada, Ohio, Rollo May introduced Heidegger’s existentialism to America. While he recovered from tuberculosis (just prior to receiving his Ph.D.), May read Kierkegaard and Freud, and ultimately wrote his dissertation of their views on anxiety.
Differentiating between normal and neurotic anxiety, May maintained that normal anxiety can help you grow. Emphasizing man’s capacity to “will” (actively choosing the best of possibilities), May maintained that we must choose to love. Love is composed of sex, eros(the need to unite with others), phila (brotherly love), and agape (love for all mankind).