By Captain R. Drace White, U. S. Navy
Motto: Only the master shall praise.
Leadership is that quality which, exercised consciously or unconsciously by one person, inspires in others an impelling influence to conform to the former's will. It is frequently, though not necessarily, a heaven-sent gift. It is closely associated with and generally, though not invariably, strengthened by the exercise of command. It is generally, though not always, born of strength of character—that virile father of villainies and virtues alike. It is the foundation stone beneath the middle of the pyramid we call our career; and even as the central stone is more heavily weighted than its brothers as the pyramid grows higher, so as we advance in our career more support is demanded of the quality of leadership than of any other on which our worth is based.
Whimsically speaking, leadership is the art of getting the other man to do it; more seriously, that of marshalling and turning to profit the energy and capabilities of others. It is that which distinguishes the captain of the smart ship, whose officers and men are quick and sure to do his bidding, from the one who, although a master in the details of his profession, fails of the touch necessary to exact hearty co-operation from his subordinates. It is that which distinguishes the worth-while petty officer, whose squad works and drills responsively and effectively, from the unpromising one, who, although capable and willing to do the work of ten men by himself, gets nothing from his men as a unit.
There is a fascination in doing things with our own hands. There is the joy of undivided authority of our successes; the relief from unhappy bickerings frequently present in divided though correlated effort; and the absence of suppressed (or open) recrimination in case of failure. Then there is the inclination prone in all of us to believe that we can do anything in our profession (sometimes in any profession) better than anyone else. Although this belief is frequently bereft of fact, I should hesitate to condemn a minor egotism so productive of laudable pride. However, sooner or later, if we are to remain worthy of our wage, our inspirations must find expression in the efforts of others. Sooner or later excessive devotion to detail would rob us of the application we, in our advanced authority, should owe to direction. It is well, therefore, that we should whenever practicable apply ourselves to the duties that furnish experience in handling men, or, synonymously, in leadership.
This, the young officer, tempted by the lure of trifling, though independent, duty or localized specialization, should keep well in mind. The "ace" who has downed his several enemy, fighting entirely alone, may fail utterly of his ends when, in later and more complex responsibility, success will depend entirely on his inspiration and guidance of others.
I have said that to some of us this quality comes as a gift. "Born Leader" is a term that has been applied to great geniuses at arms from time immemorial. That there are many who come by leadership through inheritance no one can deny. But it is equally true that it is much less frequently inherited than is commonly allowed. The term "born" in this connection is generally used, not so much in its literal sense as in laudation—simply to glorify the quality thus ascribed. Curiously enough, investigation will show that in most cases the appellation fails truthfully to describe the character of the man to whom it is applied, and, far from exalting him, robs him of a credit that should rightfully be his—credit for fighting to acquire a quality difficult of acquisition; credit for much abstinence, much self repression, much plodding and in general much self discipline.
How many of the unthinking regard Napoleon, for example, as a "born" leader! How many would be surprised at the pronouncement of Major General David C. Shanks, an authority on Napoleonic data: "There is a widespread idea," writes the General, "that a great leader like Napoleon is the heir to a heaven-horn gift that raises him beyond the level of all his contemporaries. But let the truth be known for all who are willing to attain eminence as Napoleon attained his—by hard work. In his youth that which distinguished Napoleon from his fellows was his constant reading, his habit of taking notes, and his power of application. Success came to Napoleon as it comes to most officers, through constant endeavor." There is no doubt that Napoleon's capacity for the acquisition of great principles and the disciplining of his character to the proper exercise of his powers was equal to the demand. It is no double true that he was blessed with an inherent genius that facilitated the process of acquirement, and the later exercise, of these powers; but there are doubtless many others, who, though equally blessed in capacity, neglect to apply themselves to the problem as he did, and thereby forfeit the success their capacity should rightfully entitle them to.
As a matter of fact, Napoleon's genius may not have been born to him any more than his quality as a leader. That also may have been acquired by his own efforts. Genius may be described as a state of the mind as regards receptivity and activity, and who can say but that this state of mind may not be improved by culture and training as can practically every other capability we possess.
However that may be, let not genius be confused with leadership. Although a necessary attribute to it, it is only a part of it and can never be a substitute for the thing itself. It is at best leadership's most faithful ally, its strong right arm. Do not despise genius because of its secondary role. Do not despise it even when it verges on the visionary. "It is generally supposed," writes Brailsford, "that idealists have a monopoly of illusions. Those of the practical man are as fantastic and they are commonly duller" Do not let your anxiety for poise rob you of imagination. In your level headedness you may just lack that fire, that dash, that imagination necessary for you to inspire those you would have follow you. And be it remembered, none can claim leadership in its truest sense unless he actually does inspire. A man without dash is never a hero to his fellow men, and one without imagination cannot hope to rise above the mediocre.
Similarly, a man without a sense of humor may be safely regarded as a total loss. It is far from necessary that he view everything in lighter vein, he must be careful not to offend by making jest of what to his fellow man is vastly serious. He must beware of laying claim to the title of "king's fool"; but he, who would lead, must have the faculty of throwing off his cares when opportunity offers—making the opportunity if necessary—and being human in his contact with others. No one, save Atlas, ever shouldered the whole world's troubles alone.
I have said that leadership may be exercised consciously or unconsciously. I believe the true leader must be capable of exercising it both ways. A self conscious man must sooner or later fall victim to timidity. Nothing can be more inimical to a leader's hold on his followers than a pervading sense that he is acting something that he is not; that he is unbelieving in himself; that he is, in short a poseur, a cheat, an impostor. He must not only forget self in his claim for response but he must avoid any appearance of self consideration or self seeking.
In this particular it would seem that the leader by inheritance would have an immense advantage over the leader by acquirement. Men tend to believe that the thing which was will be, that the thing which in vain has struggled to become a fact must remain a dream forever. It is therefore difficult for one who has never shown any capacity for leadership suddenly to exhibit it. But it is not impossible. The capacity to lead may have been ever present though dormant, or perhaps lacking opportunity for application. If the capability is there, if the one who would exercise it has unassailable faith in his cause, if he in his undertaking clothes himself in that all-enveloping will to win, he need feel no fear from the deterring influence of his past obscurity. Inspiration, if he be properly interested, will drive from his heart all consciousness of inferiority and what is in his own heart must eventually get into the hearts of others. There is a complete mastery that comes from a fixed idea, not a reasonable but an emotional mastery, a sort of concentrated exaltation. Under its empire men rush blindly through fire and water and opposing violence and nothing can stop them. Under its spell opposition fades and obstacles vanish. How futile then to deter is past obscurity if one is sufficiently absorbed in present devotion!
There is no question but that the exercise of leadership augments one's capacity for it. The experienced officer can get results where the inexperienced will fail. But this is true only and in equal measure as it is true in every other art. Every one must begin at the beginning. Give the young man his chance. Give him responsibility and see him acquit himself of it. Leave the detail of division work to the division officer and see him "eat it up." Don't be afraid of letting him get beyond you. There are always means of bringing him within bounds. The man who, with the machinery now allowed at his command, cannot govern even the wildest spirit has no right to command.
And it is remarkable how few men acting on their own initiative come to grief. The very fact that they are "on their own" makes them keen for the safety of their charge beyond the bounds of common circumspection. They are "safe" then as never before. Don't be afraid. Let them try their schemes. If the machine shop man promises to increase his output by a change in his jig, let him try it and reward him if he succeeds. If the captain raises the efficiency of his command, compliment him, regardless of the means employed. Beware as you would beware of a slow poison the insidious tendency, born of our discipline and our surroundings, to stifle initiative. Better a man should fail from time to time in his undertaking than he should settle into the cautious, back-leaning, fearful-of-responsibility, self-safety-seeking bit of inertia our regulations, our disciplinary practices and our very ethics seem to encourage. Such men, though harmless in peace time, must surely fail in the shock of battle from sheer atrophy of self assertion. Such a state of mind is contagious and woe to the service that becomes infected with it.
There is a state of mind peculiarly sensitive to what I may call "the pain of a new idea," a real withering pain, so often experienced at the suggestion of something that looks like violence to established routine. Not an imagined pain, a positive physical hurt transcending every other sensation for the moment in its exquisite torture; paralyzing all reasoning powers, stultifying judgment, arousing fierce antagonism, and rallying all means for defence. Fight against this enemy as you would fight for your life. Keep an open mind. Remember that the novelty of a suggestion need not of itself condemn it. Change? There must always be change. Trouble? We are paid to take care of trouble. "Perpetual peace," wrote Leibnitz, "is a motto suitable only for a graveyard." Granted, if he refers to peace of mind—in a mind so petrified as to abhor change.
The habit of command augments the efficiency of command in the same ratio as it augments one's power of leadership. The older officer frequently succeeds better than the younger not so much because of his added years, his better knowledge or his greater experience, but because he has become accustomed to the exercise of command. He exercises it as if of right. His manner, his voice, his atmosphere carry with it an expectancy of obedience. Many a young man has failed to get response from his men, not through any lack of intelligence, not through any lack of experience, not through any indolence, but through a something in the phrasing or voicing of his commands that carries with it an uncertainty of response or even an expectancy of disobedience. The reserve officer's worth was not furthered so much by the removal of the ring from his sleeve as the ring from his voice, that peculiar ring that enlisted men are ever on the watch for and unerring in their discerning. Young man (and old alike, if I may make so bold as to address you), in your commands, as well as in that other great channel through which the exercise of leadership must flow—discussion—let not a quiver in your voice or a wavering in your logic rob you of the claim your position, your knowledge or your character gives you to influence others; but with faith in the cause you urge, with loyalty to the scheme you further, without arrogance, egotism or incivility, demand of those you would have support you as if that support were already yours.
In any discussion of leadership one is inevitably struck with the intimate relation between leadership and command. Mahan in his "Types of Naval Officers" appears to make a distinction. "Each man," he says, "has his special gift, and to succeed must needs act in accordance with it. There are those who lead and those who drive; Hawke belonged to the one class, Rodney to the other." My belief, however, is that Mahan did not attempt here to delineate leadership from command so much as to exhibit the variety of colors in which leadership may be clothed, and that the use of leader as opposed to driver offered a dramatic expression of the difference between two types of vastly successful leadership. Command, and if necessary, driving, must ever be a salient adjunct to leadership. Command is generally the only means by which a commander-in-chief may express his will or even his wish for responsive activity; it is his mouthpiece, his clarion, his call to arms. And if driving be necessary, driving there must be.
I call to mind an order in a captain's order book. A book, by the way, which was distinguished by its practical nudity as regards orders. There were only two entered during the incumbency of his command. One of these ran as follows:
There has been observed on this ship a notable failure on the part of inferior officers and men to execute with smartness the orders of their superiors. It has apparently become habitual with them to enter into discussion as to the desirability of doing exactly what has been told or to suggest a means other than that which has been prescribed before proceeding to obey.
This slovenliness will not be tolerated. When an officer, clothed with proper authority, gives an order, it is to be presupposed that he knows exactly what ought to be done. It is to be presupposed that he knows better than any person to whom the command is addressed—this because of superior experience or more complete information or other logical cause. The effect of laxity in response or of haggling as to methods is far-reaching in its damage. An officer or man who in ordinary times fails to obey orders with promptness and thoroughness gives cause for serious doubt as to his loyalty in case of emergency.
It is expected that the officers of this ship will not only exact immediate and implicit obedience to their every order, but that they will bear in mind that a good example is far-reaching in its effect.
That order, to my mind, exhibited leadership of the highest type. This captain knew well that his officers knew, or surely soon would know, their business. It was a chant of faith in the machine he had welded or soon would weld. There was not in it so much of dictation, or of "rendering unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's," as of the simple demand that must be exacted in every successful undertaking, whether civil or military—that of assured response to authorized direction. No man who fails in this exaction can hope to bring about anything but chaos.
And be not confused. Dictation can never be successfully employed as a substitute for leadership. Men of intelligence resent instinctively a dictatorial attitude on the part of a superior, and many is the time when suggestion will claim inspired loyalty where autocratic command will only result in disinterested obedience. As the oil smoothes the waves so will tact remove the saw edge from intercourse with your inferiors. And know your man. Know which is the leeward side of the vessel you would board; know which side is approachable of the man you would win.
Tact, however, should not be allowed to become an obsession. Too great a regard for it may rob your every argument of the punch necessary to carry it to enthusiastic acceptance. Absorption in it may cause you to think instinctively of the state of mind of your opponent at the expense of proper presentation of your claim. Abnormal regard for it may rob you of that moral fearlessness without which no man can maintain his leadership indefinitely. For—and it may well be said here—leadership is not satisfied with placid acquiescence. It demands responsive and virile action. It demands partisanship. It demands of one's fellow man that he take off his coat and fight. Fight for the cause if necessary—for the leader whether necessary or not. No man can claim such response unless he himself be morally fearless. Unless he be ready to fight as he would have his followers fight; fight morally or physically as circumstances demand. For there is in leadership an inviolable law of reciprocity. No man can expect loyalty from others unless he carries conviction of his loyalty to them. No man can expect others to fight for him if he does not appear anxious to fight for them. He must be guardian of their rights, anxious for their welfare, concerned for their happiness, rejoiceful of their successes, sympathetic of their misfortunes. He must further their interests and convince them by act and deed of the profit to them to be born of loyalty to him. And above all he must fulfill to them his obligations. No politician ever held his gang who failed habitually to make good his promises.
The leader must be fearless morally as well as physically. The man who would fail to present a just claim to a superior because the latter is irascible, the man who would fail to listen to a complaint because he fears an argument, the man who would fail to do his utmost to right a condition that has been proved to be wrong and harmful to another on a plea that such restitution will open up a flood of similar claims, is morally a coward; and although he may by compensating traits of character, or by chicanery, maintain his following temporarily, he must in due time fail in his leadership because of the emasculating effect such cowardice or complacency will have upon his character. Young man, be circumspect but be brave. Practice fearlessness—moral as well as physical. Practice it when you are young, to the end that you may not fail of it when you are old and your country's honor may depend on your possessing it.
Where in our profession, it may be asked, does leadership begin? Where is it first expressed? Where should we expect to find it? Theoretically it may exist everywhere. Wherever two souls are met together there is opportunity for its exercise. It is not necessarily confined to the cabin, the mess room or the quarterdeck. We should, and frequently do, find it forward as well as aft. The man who by his good bright-work influences his coworker to polish better is as truly a leader in his own way as he who guides the course of the fleet. The man who by his happy song augments the amount of coal put on board per hour—he also leads. His influence may not be far reaching, but the luster of his deed is none the less bright. And let not the worth of his leadership be measured by its material scope. In the exercise of his talent he is stimulating it toward perfection. Consciously or unconsciously he is giving it the culture necessary for its growth; he is encouraging its roots to sink deeper into his character, and the deeper they thrust their tendrils the more robust and perfect may we expect the flower of leadership to be when it blooms into widened opportunity. And who can gauge the future opportunity of the man from the forecastle any more than that of the man from aft? Strange mutations we have seen in the past. Stranger we may see in the future.
For the young officer, whose ultimate advancement to command is more or less assured, the practice of the principles and habit of leadership cannot begin too soon. Youthful days are tropical days, when seed put into the ground spreads, sprouts and brings forth fruit with astonishing rapidity. A bit of self-discipline here, a bit of encouraged frankness there, may bring a reward which in later life may be had only at the expense of vast application. Many are the claims, even when we are young, which the practice of these virtues may exact. Much may be the self denial. Rut nothing will be demanded beyond the capacity of the young officer who would serve his country well.
In the first place, the young officer must know himself; and know himself to be square. Each to his code and his code should be that of his fathers. He must be clean of body and of mind; for although many are the temptations to attain cheap popularity by unclean routes, many are the pitfalls thereby, and there will always be a sufficiency of the puritan in the men with whom he must struggle to baffle the attainment of real success by any but clean methods. He should adhere to the disciplinary practices of his forbears. These are based on sound ethics and have stood the test of time ; and whereas a man may, by deviations therefrom, sometimes raise his men far above the level of common efficiency, the foundation of his pinnacle in insecure, and invariably he will leave for his successor in command a problem difficult of solution.
Honesty and frankness must be the foundation stone of the young man's character. The habit of straight thought and frank expression is golden. It instills in one the faculty of instinctive right judgment, whereas the man less rigidly schooled may have to search, when time is precious, with dim eyes for guidance. It surrounds one with an atmosphere of trust which inevitably draws men to him.
One of the most distinctive signs of leadership, whether in the young man or the old, is the faculty of eliciting confidences from his followers. It is an elusive art difficult of acquisition, varying aberrantly with the type of one's associates and ever ready to vanish without apparent reason. But it is invaluable to the leader who holds it. The superior who inspires his subordinates to speak out ever with frankness, who never upbraids them for faulty opinion, who never ridicules them, who encourages their personal confidences, has a grasp on his men that is difficult to shake. If a man is your guest, induce him to talk. No man has enjoyed your company who hasn't talked considerably himself—and about himself.
"One of the greatest difficulties I have," said a captain to me once, "is to get out of my officers the plain unvarnished truth. It is not that they are consciously mendacious, but they frequently instinctively secrete from me as much information as possible, as if knowledge of it might in some obscure way place them in a bad light. This attitude may come from the correctional atmosphere they encounter upon their entry into the service when they are in the most impressionable and sensitive period of their lives. It may come from the system of punishment and reward they encounter later on. Be that as it may, I am frequently encountered by an absence of frankness that is baffling."
Unfortunately, this condition is frequently encountered. Most of us have upon occasion failed of right decision because some coworker has held back from us information which should, in frankness, have been ours. And this with no sinister intention but because of instilled force of habit. Habit of telling nothing more than the law demands. More frequently, however, the fault lies on the other hand. Many a senior (and how many would be shocked if apprised of the fact!) is regarded by his subordinates as unapproachable. Many are held in abject fear.
That this characteristic, whether willfully or unconsciously assumed, is inimical to the interests of leadership is needless of iteration. The man who instinctively feels that communications are unwelcome, hesitates, as a rule, to make uninvited ones. The man who feels he is habitually greeted with lack of consideration may have his worth to his master counted as at an end. "Friendship becomes impossible and even co-operation difficult." And no man can exercise leadership to its fullest possibility without both co-operation and friendship on the part of his associates.
Mahan analyzes with ample clearness an example of disaster rightfully consequent to a lack of this combination. He writes: "Douglas (Rodney's chief of staff) was of the same opinion as Hood, and for making the suggestion at the proper moment had been snubbed by Rodney, who had established over him a dominion of manner which precluded proper insistence, or even representation, such as became his office." Such a condition is dangerously easy to come into being in our present-day practice. A strong man in his very earnestness is an easy prey to inconsideration or even vilification of his associates. Needless to say, such lapses are not only invariably discreditable but are equally unprofitable. The division officer who leaves the executive feeling that he has been abused may as well be counted out so far as that day's work is concerned. Even if he try his best he will, in all probability, fail of success. The captain who leaves the flagship feeling that the admiral has snubbed him goes, in nine times out of ten, a disloyal servant. Many a man has felt his finest ambition die cold within him because his suggestion, recommendation or request has been ruthlessly rejected.
Nothing but resentment can spring from inconsiderate treatment; and a person filled with resentment, regardless of his station or character, is a sometime laggard, and not without justification. "I shall never make another suggestion" is a remark frequently heard in cabin and mess room alike. Doubtless it is also heard m some form or other at the wooden mess tables forward. With that feeling abroad what hope can there be for successful leadership on the part of the man responsible for it? Unquestioned obedience to orders is one thing. Disposition to suggest another, and not necessarily inimical to the former. No man has so firm a grasp on his business as to warrant deafness to the opinions of his subordinates. No man on earth has attained complete understanding. Not only may something frequently be gleaned from the most unworthy of his help men but the mere fact of listening to him draws the subordinate to him with a bond unequalled in its strength by any other artfulness. Acceptance of his view may make him your slave forever. Proud is the man whose counsel has been taken by his elders.
Above all things the leader must know his profession. Organize well, shoot well, sail your boat well, handle your ship well. Be exact in your knowledge and practice. If you would explain a cannon, know its details. Many a man has been told there were 22 grooves in a bore when he knew there were 24 and has therefore regarded his preceptor forever after as a false alarm. If you teach a man to stand at attention you should know the angle his feet should be apart; how far his shoulder from his next file; how far the rear rank stands behind him ; what he does with his hands; where his chin should be. If you wish the company to go "squads right" don't command "squads left." When you inspect your men's bright-work, see that it is clean to the edge and that the cleaning paste is not smeared over adjoining wood. If your man paints the waterway see that the square mark is kept distinct; when he sets his sight see that the markings are in exact conjunction; when he lays the gun exact a crossing of the wires in the center of the bull. All this, not merely for the success of the day's work, but for the good of your soul. Be meticulous in your own work and demand exactitude eventually from others. In no case, however, should you permit absorption in detail to cloud your vision of the end in view. Remember that in gunnery's vast and complex ramification, there is an axiom which envelops the whole study: Hit first, hit furthest, hit fastest.
Remember that your duty does not end with the day's work nor is your calling bounded by the bulwarks of the ship whose deck you tread. Look abroad—look ahead, to the end that when opportunity, so fickle in her favor, flirts with you, she may not find you a backward lover, or an unpolished courtier. Put your "touch" into your every undertaking. Be not satisfied that your work is done, but see that it is handsomely done. As a young man see that snap goes into your drill. As a captain handle your ship with boldness. As an admiral lay your fleet across the other's course. The lieutenant who brings his company to a "halt" with snap and vigor, will probably command as a captain an efficient ship, as an admiral a smart—and if the chance offer—a victorious fleet.
It is not necessary—it is not even desirable—that an officer should correct every infraction in others or that disciplinary measures should be imposed for every shortcoming. Seagoing has never been an exact science, and sea temper never one to endure carping criticism. Many a ship has just missed efficiency because the captain, to use the phrase of an old boatswain of my acquaintance, had a habit of "coming on deck and raising hell with the ship." On the contrary, many a captain has raised his ship "to the heights" through knowing when to compliment and when to support. Many a one has become a lasting hero to his tribe by the signal "The captain was on the bridge and is responsible."
On the relations between officers and men the written word is voluminous; the precept ever present. Why reiterate? Perhaps the subject is best summed up in the admonition of the late Theodore Roosevelt: "Guarantee to every man his full rights and exact from every man the full performance of his duty."
And finally conform to the forms and practices of gentlemen. It is true that every man regardless of his birth, stature or education loves to fondle the belief that he has within him the rugged qualities of the cave man. More, he may be induced if occasion appear opportune to parade his enchantment audibly before you. He may whisper it in modesty, he may cry it aloud in impudence, but the image itself will be unmistakable. In primordial vanity he will revert to the ethics of his forbears. He will picture himself as capable—aye, even desirous—of clubbing something into submission and maintaining his sovereignty over it with the club. He will especially fancy the simplicity of such a procedure and will regard with abhorrence the more complex practice demanded by effete society. And this is well. The spirit of dominion is vital to success in any undertaking. It is an inherent adjunct to the character of any man who in his heart is determined to win. The mastery in point may be mastery over other men. It must be a mastery over every obstacle—man, object or beast. Naturally then all red-blooded men view with misgiving any indication in manner, action or speech savoring of weakness.
But it is equally true that it is most generally in ignorance we find the association of gentlemanly conduct with effeminacy. Significantly true that the deeper the ignorance, the more acute will be the suspicion. It is only in the slums that we find the spirit of boorishness glorified. Gentlemanly practice, in its truest sense, is invariably associated with completeness of education, and every lapse therefrom attributed to ignorance. John Paul Jones must have had in mind the limitations of educational opportunity prevalent in his time when he wrote: "None other than a gentleman as well as a seaman, both in theory and practice, is qualified to support the character of a commissioned officer in the navy." And his "theory and practice," be it understood, qualified both his requirements, not solely the latter. However that may be, his admonition applies strikingly to the present. With our latter-day education and our accepted system of character building, there should be no lapse from this "theory and practice" on the part of any officer of the navy. One who is negligent of his obligations, unpolished in his manners, untutored in his presentment, vulgar in his speech, or sloven in his attire is unfit to lead and never will attain leadership unless it be of a mob. The forms and exactions of society will be invariably found to have sound reason for their exaction. The fact that they have stood the test of time guarantees their rationality. Hardy is the man who would abandon them for a product of his own imagination.
And let the deed support the thought. Be champion of the right, defender of the oppressed, supporter of the weak. Be courteous to your elders, deferential to your superiors, respectful to your betters. Let not the spirit of noblesse oblige perish from the face of the earth.
And by these tenets may leadership be acquired. Not by one, but by all of us. We may not all attain the same pinnacle of excellence, but each according to his several capacity. We should not be discouraged if the thing we seek seems ever to evade our grasp. Remember our moment may not yet have come. Opportunity may not yet have knocked at our door. And knowing in our inner conscience that we have done our best, knowing that we have given all that is in us to give, knowing that we have served our ideals unswervingly, we may know that we cannot entirely have failed.