23 On Resignation
Resignation is of two sorts, one rooted in despair, the other in unconquerable hope. The man who has suffered such fundamental defeat that he has given up hope of serious achievement may learn the resignation of despair, and if he does, he will abandon all serious activity. He may, camouflage his despair by religious phrases, or by the doctrine that contemplation is the true end of man, but whatever disguise he may adopt to conceal his inward defeat, he will remain essentially useless and fundamentally unhappy. The man whose resignation is based on unconquerable hope acts in quite a different way. Hope which is to be unconquerable must be large and impersonal. Whatever my personal activities, may be defeated by death, or by certain kinds of diseases; I may be overcome by my enemies; I may find that I have embarked upon an unwise course which cannot lead to success. In a thousand ways the failure of purely personal hopes may be unavoidable, but if personal aims have been part of larger hopes for humanity, there is not the same utter defeat when failure comes.