Regardless of the staggering dimensions of the world about us, the density of our ignorance, the risks of catastrophes to come, and our individual weakness within the immense collectivity, the fact remains that we are absolutely free today if we choose to will our existence in its finiteness, a finiteness which is open on the infinite. And in fact, any man who has known real loves, real revolts, real desires, and real will knows quite well that he has no need of any outside guarantee to be sure of his goals; their certitude comes from his own drive.
Men do not like tomboys, nor bluestockings, nor thinking women; too much audacity, culture, intelligence, or character frightens them.
What would Prince Charming do if he did not wake up Sleeping Beauty, or lavish gifts on Donkey Skin?
The word “love” has not at all the same meaning for both sexes, and this is a source of the grave misunderstandings that separate them.
That’s what I consider true generosity. You give your all, and yet you always feel as if it costs you nothing.
Oppression tries to defend itself by its utility. But we have seen that it is one of the lies of the serious mind to attempt to give the word “useful” an absolute meaning; nothing is useful if it is not useful to man; nothing is useful to man if the latter is not in a position to define his own ends and values, if he is not free.
One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, compassion.
Men of today seem to feel more acutely than ever the paradox of their condition. They know themselves to be the supreme end to which all action should be subordinated, but the exigencies of action force them to treat one another as instruments or obstacles, as means. The more widespread their mastery of the world, the more they find themselves crushed by uncontrollable forces.
Let us try to assume our fundamental ambiguity. It is in the knowledge of the genuine conditions of our life that we must draw our strength to live and our reason for acting.