The bonds that unite another person to ourselves exist only in our mind. Memory as it grows fainter relaxes them, and notwithstanding the illusion by which we would fain be cheated and with which, out of love, friendship, politeness, deference, duty, we cheat other people, we exist alone. Man is the creature that cannot emerge from himself, that knows his fellows only in himself when he asserts the contrary, he is lying.
The bottom line is that (a) people are never perfect, but love can be, (b) that is the one and only way that the mediocre and vile can be transformed, and (c) doing that makes it that. We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.
The brown bag, of course, had its imperfections. While some kids carried roast beef sandwiches, others had peanut butter. I have no way of knowing if all of those brown bags contained 'nutritionally adequate diets.' But I do know that those brown bags and those lunch pails symbolized parental love and responsibility.
The common good of a collective -- a race, a class, a state -- was the claim and justification of every tyranny ever established over men. Every major horror of history was committed in the name of an altruistic motive. Has any act of selfishness ever equaled the carnage perpetrated by disciples of altruism? Does the fault lie in men's hypocrisy or in the nature of the principle? The most dreadful butchers were the most sincere. The believed in the perfect society reached through the guillotine and the firing squad. Nobody questioned their right to murder since they were murdering for an altruistic purpose. It was accepted that man must be sacrificed for other men. Actors change, but the course of the tragedy remains the same. A humanitarian who starts with the declarations of love for mankind and ends with a sea of blood. It goes on and will go on so long as men believe that an action is good if it is unselfish. That permits the altruist to act and forces his victims to bear it. The leaders of collectivist movements ask nothing of themselves. But observe the results.
The dancing pair that simply sought renown,By holding out to tire each other downThe swain mistrustless of his smutted face,While secret laughter titter'd round the placeThe bashful virgin's side-long looks of love,The matrons glance that would those looks reproveThese were thy charms, sweet village sports like these,With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to pleaseThese were thy bowers their cheerful influence shed,These were thy charms -- but all these charms are fled.