Beauty and Justice

Mountains in Abruzzo National Park

 “Man is hungry for beauty. There is a void.”—Oscar Wilde

In the streets of my Delhi neighborhood, workers are building new apartments. Women carry sand on their heads. Bricks are stacked on the walkway. Yesterday the populous celebrated Republic Day, and I was reading Pamela Timms’ book, Korma Kheer & Kismet, the chapter titled “Independence Day in Sadar Bazar” where she describes the civic protests of 2011 where social activist, Kisan Baburao “Anna” Hazare, began a hunger strike in protest of government corruption. Concerned with the amount of interest Hazare stirred up in the populace, prime minister of the time, Manmohan Singh responded, ‘”Corruption manifests itself in many forms. Funds meant for schemes for the welfare of the common man end up in the pocket of government officials. In some other instances, government discretion is used to favor a selected few. There are also cases where government contracts are wrongfully awarded to the wrong people. We cannot let such activities continue unchecked.”’ Hazare’s hunger strike began the day after the prime minister made the statement, reports Timms, and goes on to describe some of the corruptions in the system—food vendors paying as much as a quarter of their salaries to the police to be able to stay open, and rickshaw drivers paying as much as 20% of their salaries to police to prevent their tires from being slashed, families having to pay bribe money to secure a place for their child at school. (p. 55) (You can read an overview of large-scale corruption in India here if you wish.)

It’s no surprise that corruption is present not only in India. It is a worldwide problem in both businesses, see a list here of top business corruption cases, and governments. Take a look at the thematic map from Transparency International here, to see a visual representation of corruption levels in countries across the world. Justice doesn’t prevail. In many cases, it’s simply the way the world functions where people live, and the everyday person, if he or she wants to function in society, doesn’t have a lot of choice about it.

With corruption and misuse of power so widespread, an enormous percentage of people in the world are pawns to those who hold the power. How do people manage? How do people—any of us and all of us—caught in such systems go on living with good conscience? I remember listening to Garth Lenz describing on his TED Talk about the effects of mining for oil in Canada’s tar sands had on the native people of the area. Parents in that area are caught in the dilemma of needing to feed their children, yet the toxins in the river are causing cancers at the rate of 10 times what it is in other parts of Canada. Because it’s very costly to fly in all the food a person needs in order eat, the aboriginal people are forced to eat the food “..as a parent, I just can’t imagine what that does to your soul. And that’s what we’re doing,” says Lenz. (transcript available here.) Certainly there were people during the time of Spain’s inquisition, in Nazi Germany and in Pol Pot’s Cambodia who didn’t agree with the government’s position but felt compelled to go along with the crowd mentality for fear of their own lives and those of their children’s. Certainly, there are people today in our own institutions who disagree with the use of power and yet are afraid of speaking out for fear of losing their jobs and the livelihood for their families. Not everyone can just move on or move out to a new situation, new job, new country, new life, and even if that were possible, where might one live or work where corruption was not part of the way of life? We have to learn to live in a fallen world.

I’m reminded of Maria Mazziotti Gillan’s poem, “I Open a Box,” in her book, Ancestor’s Song, where she describes her Italian immigrant mother’s doctor coming to her New Jersey tenement to assist her in the delivery of her baby. He arrives late, and Gillan’s mother has already given birth, cut the umbilical cord, and washed her child. When the doctor finally arrives, he doesn’t even enter the room. Instead, he distances himself from the situation.

“He washed his hands, wiped
them on one of the rough linen towels
I brought from Italy, stood in the doorway.
“You’ll be okay,” he said, and left.
“Oh, well,” my mother said, “I think
he was afraid of catching it.”
“Catching what?” I asked.
“Poverty,” she said.

New Delhi neighborhood street.

Poverty is often perceived by wealthier countries as something out there over there, not mine not related to one’s own life. Like the doctor at the door, people want to distance themselves from the poor, not realizing their lives are connected. We may want to stand at the door like the doctor of this poem observing a world we don’t want to be a part of. We may think we can wash our hands, bid others well and walk away, and disconnect ourselves from what we don’t want and live in a different neighborhood. But our lives are intertwined. One example: A few years back, students in my speech class debated whether the lithium beneath Bolivia’s salt flats should be mined. The area is of tremendous beauty yet the area holds more than half the world’s lithium. Lithium is a lightweight metal used in powering our high tech products—iPhones, iPods, and other handheld devices. Now, as the world searches for alternative energy and looks towards ways to store electricity in batteries in order to meet more of our needs, including the use of batteries for electric vehicles, the need for lithium grows in greater and greater demand.

Dan McDougal, in his article on Mail Online “In search of Lithium: The battle for the third element” quotes a lithium-ion battery producer, Mary Ann Wright of Johnson Controls-Saft, ‘Since a vehicle battery requires 100 times as much lithium carbonate as its laptop equivalent, the green-car revolution could make lithium one of the planet’s most strategic commodities.’“ There’s not enough lithium to power the world’s 900 million vehicles, however, McDougal observes. Bolivia has significantly large amounts of the needed lithium to produce the batteries for the growing electric car industry, an industry that most people perceive as a green technology. Mc Dougal reports that according to “William Tahil, research director with technology consultancy Meridian International Research, ‘to make just 60 million plug-in hybrid vehicles a year containing a small lithium-ion battery would require 420,000 tons of lithium carbonate – or six times the current global production annually.” To continue, McDougal goes on to report that “The US Geological Survey claims at least 5.4 million tons of lithium could be extracted in Salar De Uyuni, while another report puts it as high as nine million tons.”’ Bolivia is a very poor country. Child workers are exploited, but children work to help their families. While mining the mineral would bring needed jobs and money into the country, a problem is that mining the mineral requires an abundance of water, and water is a rare commodity in Bolivia’s high desert. Bolivia has experienced exploitation by outsiders before in the tin and silver mining industries. An overuse of water could significantly affect the country and its people in numerous ways—making it difficult to have enough water for daily use, as well as for farming. Additionally, mining pollutes water with toxins as well. McDougal asks his readers “Is the world’s need for a green solution to transport worth the destruction of this unique environment and way of life that it lives on?”

Transportation is necessary. Our society is structured in such a way that few of us can walk to work. We need some way of getting to work. We want to do that in the least harmful way to the environment and others. As a result, in the desire to move away from our dependence on oil, many people are looking toward buying an electric car. These same people may be unaware that in doing so they are connected to moral dilemmas of another sort. We are all part of the greater web of being.

Walls and grass in Vicalvi, Italy sunset.

Parker Palmer, in his book, The Courage to Teach, which I’m currently reading, talks about the biologist Barbara McClintock, who was given the Nobel Prize in 1983 for her work that changed our understanding of genetics. Prior to her work, people thought of genes as separate things, not in connection to the environment they were a part of. Palmer explains that McClintock’s interviewer who wrote her biography, Fox Keller, “wanted to know, ‘What enabled McClintock to see further and deeper into the mysteries of genetics than her colleagues?’ McClintock’s answer, Keller tells us, is simple: “Over and over again she tells us one must have the time to look, the patience to ‘hear what the material has to say to you,’ the openness to ‘let it come to you.’ Above all, one must have ‘a feeling for the organism.’” We co-create our world. We can’t stand at the door. The burden of the cost of anything is born by all eventually. As Palmer goes on to say, “Modern knowledge has allowed us to manipulate the world but not to control its fate (to say nothing of our own), a fact that becomes more clear each day as the ecosystem dies and our human systems fail.” (p. 57) Perhaps, then one important way of living inside of corrupt systems and move ourselves and society toward greater wholeness is to do what we can with those around us to build and restore relationships constructively. Some things or many things may not be in our power. But some things will. We can learn to listen closely to the interrelationships of people and things so we gain a greater connection to life. With this understanding, we can better comprehend what actions will create harmony both with others and with nature.

Abruzzo National Park, Italy.

Dostoyevsky said, “Beauty can save the world.” While it may not appear to be a solution to growing environmental and social concerns, the idea deserves a closer look. What connection does beauty have in showing us a way through our dilemmas of how to live in unjust social systems? The New York Times “Books” section, published in 1987 includes an excerpt from Richard Ellman’s essay “Oscar Wilde.” Ellman relates the story of Oscar Wilde coming to New York City in 1882. “Beauty is nearer to most of us than we are aware,” Wilde explained talking to reporters. One of the reporters wanted to know if a nearby grain elevator was beautiful. Earlier in the conversation, Wilde had said, ‘I am here to diffuse beauty, and I have no objection to saying that.” As reporters continued probing, Wilde explained further his ideas about beauty. ”’It’s a wide field which has no limit, and all definitions are unsatisfactory. Some people might search and not find anything. But the search, if carried on according to right laws, would constitute estheticism. They would find happiness in striving, even in despair of ever finding what they sought. The renaissance of beauty is not to be hoped for without strife internal and external.” ”Where then is this movement to end?” ”There is no end to it; it will go on forever, just as it had no beginning. I have used the word renaissance to show that it is no new thing with me. It has always existed. As time goes on the men and the forms of expression may change, but the principle will remain. Man is hungry for beauty. . . . There is a void; nature will fill it. The ridicule which esthetes have been subjected to is the only way of blind unhappy souls who cannot find the way to beauty.”’ Creating a world of beauty is creating the ideal world. Creating a heaven, so to speak. To do so will take great effort. But people are hungry for it, as Wilde says. We are hungry for beauty, and that hunger connects to the desire for a world without corruption. Without corruption, beauty has a better chance of thriving.

Elaine Scarry, author of On Beauty and Being Just, speaks on her Harvard Thinks Big, “Beauty as a Call to Justice” about how experiences of beauty help to move humans toward justice. When we experience the beautiful, we are pulled out of our everyday way of interacting with our surroundings. We stand still. We are transfixed, she explains. In those moments, beauty pours into us an awareness of the “surfeit of aliveness.” It takes us out of ourselves, and connects us with a larger reality. Scarry makes the case that this experience of beauty helps lead us to love what we see and to want to care for it and have a relationship with it.

Wildflowers, Vicalvi, Italy.

I don’t know if its true as Keats said in his “Ode to a Grecian Urn” that “Beauty is truth, truth beauty,–that is all/Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know,” but I do believe we need to have a much deeper knowing of beauty than we currently hold. There is a relationship between our loss of beauty in many of our urban environments, a loss resulting from our pragmatic values that relegates beauty to the bottom realms, and efficiency to the higher realms of priority. When I speak of beauty, I’m not talking about beauty in the decorative or commercial sense. I’m speaking of the beauty such as nature gives us in a star strewn sky or a valley sweeping down in green fields from stoney mountain peaks. I’m speaking of the beauty Scarry described above—that stops us short, that overwhelms, and then lifts us out of ourselves. Is our culture’s pragmatic love of efficiency causing us to structure society in such a way that it’s actually challenging to make deep connections with others? We have connection to people on Facebook, but does the minimalistic communication that exists there nurture deep conversation and relationship? I doubt it. Could it also be true that our lack of seeing ourselves as connected to the beauty of the Bolivian salt flats and the lives of Bolivian miners as we pursue our technological development (and other similar realities) is part of the reason corruption continues to thrive? Do people act in ugly ways because they live in a world where connection to the natural world is broken? In glimpses of beauty, we can see the world we want to belong to, a world of balance and wholeness, and are drawn to it. If we gave beauty a place of respect and honor in our cultures, possibly we would treat the world with more respect. If we developed more of a relationship with those around us and with the natural world, wouldn’t we understand our connection to the world and realize more fully the effects of our choices? Is our collective loss of beauty causing us to lose our souls?

At the castle ruins, Vicalvi, Italy.

I never used to understand the Jesus prayer—the ancient prayer that says, “Have mercy on me.” I felt it seemed too focused on the negative and I already struggle to move beyond my failures. But as I see myself more and more intertwined with the existence of all that is, I see the value of this prayer. What the world is or isn’t, isn’t all up to me, but I’m also a part of all that is. How do we live in a corrupt world and yet continue to grow toward wholeness? The problems are all much bigger than me but mercy is extended. “For the Beauty of the Earth” is an old song that carries with it the idea of giving praise for the world around us and to the skies. Perhaps the ongoing practice of noticing and valuing beauty in the world, as the words of this song illustrate, acts to create a greater awareness of our interconnectivity. It’s worth trying.

One of the especially valuable aspects of creative work—of art and literature, of writing—is the way it nurtures the inner life. The artist must look very carefully at whatever she or he is drawing in order to see it and how it functions in relationship to itself and to the world it inhabits. In writing, an author must delve inside the subject with imagination in order to understand the subject and the interrelationship of the subject to oneself and the world. To write or to do art is to cultivate beauty. It is a way to reconnect to the world, is a way of making whole again as telling our story is a way of making us whole again. The flourishing of this kind of empathetic understanding that comes through our interaction with literature and the arts is important to not only the continuance of the world, but the continuance of a world that is good to live in.

Wherever we are, we can work with others to create greater wholeness. If we are going to change at all, it will be a step-by-step movement toward wholeness. In the mean time, we can pray as we walk, “have mercy,” and, by grace, we will continue on.

At Vicalvi castle, above the Comino Valley, Italy

Can Beauty Save the World?

“When nothing seems to help, I go and look at a stonecutter hammering away at a rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it–but all that had gone before.”– Jacob Riis

I spent this past week in the Himalaya foothills with students from my school on a camping trip. It was an excellent week of hiking, rappelling , creating art using things found in the natural environment, swimming in a mountain stream. I loved experiencing all the things I don’t get to participate in while living in Delhi. Walking up a forest road, I looked up to see a group of yellow butterflies swirl through the sky. Later, I stood at the foot of a waterfall, staring up into the mossy ledges of brilliant green through a rainbow arc. Another day, while hiking I noticed the shining gossamer wings of a dead cicada lying on the path as I walked by. The world is indeed full of wonder and magic, or at least it can be if you are in the right location.

As we drove down the mountain and back toward Delhi, I experienced a different kind of world–one filled with honking horns, a layer of trash covering the roadside for miles, traffic congestion, and road-side fires–a world where where smoke and the resulting haze made visibility increasingly difficult. As the sky grew increasingly dark and the sun went down in a great ball of pollution-orange, I thought to myself, “What has happened to beauty?” People who grew up in this world, who have never been outside of it, are bound to think that this is the whole of the world–the way life is. Three mornings in a row now the sun has risen as an orange ball into a haze-filled sky, the kind of sky I have seen before in California when the hills have caught on fire. We have made a kind of hell for ourselves to live in it seems. We light the fires. We burn the world. How is it that we have come to this state of being?

Yesterday I received this poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay in a letter from Monasteries of the Heart.

God’s World
by Edna St. Vincent Millay

O world, I cannot hold thee close enough!
Thy winds, thy wide grey skies!
Thy mists that roll and rise!
Thy woods, this autumn day, that ache and sag
And all but cry with colour! That gaunt crag
To crush! To lift the lean of that black bluff!
World, World, I cannot get thee close enough!
Long have I known a glory in it all,
But never knew I this;
Here such a passion is
As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear
Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year.
My soul is all but out of me, let fall
No burning leaf; prithee, let no bird call.

What a very different world Millay was observing than the one I live in with its pollution filled skies–where the natural world is pushed aside for the demands of roads and buildings, where people live in substandard housing or live on the streets, where there is so much trash that it has become a literal mountain in the city. Given this reality with such pressing social and environmental needs, what is the role of beauty? A prince in Dostoyevsky’s novel, The Idiot, states that “Beauty will save the world.” How can this really be and what does this mean? Beauty can lift us above the mundane, restore and renew us when we feel worn down, but can it save us?

If we look at the work of the journalist and photographer Jacob Riis, we can see one way in which it’s possible for the artist’s eye can lead to change in the world. Riis is noted for raising social consciousness through his photographs in the late 1800’s of the tenement houses and slum areas of New York City, in particular of Mulberry Street, where many Italian immigrants lived in some of the city’s worst slums. The Italians were willing to live in these areas because many of them found them no worse than what they came from, and in some cases actually better, and they looked on their living situation as somewhat temporary. They had dreams of building a better world for themselves. Riis looked at the plight of those who lived in these conditions, and looked deeply. He used his photographs to not merely document or bear witness to other’s suffering, but to motivate others to make social reform. While some may have questioned his relocation efforts, nonetheless, the effect his photographic work had on others is remarkable. His work led to more diligent police patrol in NYC after President Roosevelt walked with him through areas Riis had been photographing. Riis photographs of sewage falling directly into New York state’s water supply led to the state becoming aware of the connection between these behaviors and the possibility of an outbreak of cholera after Riis spoke with doctors about the connection between this behavior and the disease. His photography work also helped others to see the need for replacing unsafe tenements with parks. Because he looked deeply, and use that sight to create powerful photos that helped convince people of the need for change, Riis made a difference for good in the world. While it was not Riis’s main goal to create works of art, nonetheless, his photos are a kind of work of art. Social reform, however, is not generally the goal of art. Should art be political? Maybe from a certain perspective all art is political, but I wouldn’t argue that art should be political, though artistic efforts can lead to social reform, as did Dickens’ writing.

Though I’ve not yet read Gregory Wolfe’s book, Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age, the title attracts me, as does Wolfe’s own comments about the book, and I want to put it on my wish list of books to read because since living in Delhi, I’ve been struggling with this question of whether my need for beauty is frivolous or a true need. I long for access to the natural world, a walk in a forest rather than a city park. Maybe it’s because I grew up in a place where I could roam the hills behind my house, climb up granite bolders and look out over the valley and hills beyond. Maybe it is just a part of my spiritual geography that I think I need this access to the natural world. On the other hand, couldn’t it be that we really do need beauty to survive? Humans have made art since the days when we lived in caves and were hunter-gatherers. I have been working on accepting where I am–learning to be happy where I am, even if where I am doesn’t have the beauty I need that feeds my soul. In truth, I have been given much to be utterly grateful for every day of my life. Could it be, however, that I long for beauty because as human beings we truly do need it?

I don’t have to have the kind of beauty every day that Millay talks about in her poem where I feel  stretched apart. It would be too much to actually bear that kind of beauty every day. My first trip to Italy several years ago made me wonder how people could live every day with so much beauty all around them. After a while, one must just accept it as the world as it is, just as here in Delhi with the polluted skies people accept this as the given world. Though they saw it, the children on the bus ride down from the Himalaya weren’t focused on the lack of beauty around them. They simply continued singing as we rolled through the streets lined with trash and burning fires. This is a way to survive–to just keep singing. Which leads me back to the question of what role beauty can play in helping us act in ways that create a better world. Just because art exists around us or because people are producing art doesn’t necessarily make the air pollution go away. Riis took the photos which piqued people’s awareness, but he also had to get out there and motivate the change of policy. We need policy changes to make the world a more livable place, and in order to preserve the beauty.

Is the role of imagination, art and beauty at its base a political action, however? Does political action trump imagination? Dr. Eric Cunningham explains in his review of Wolfe’s book, Beauty Will Save the World: Recovering the Human in an Ideological Age that Wolfe asserts that it is beauty, not ideology, that will save the world. “Throughout this twenty-five year exploration Wolfe has struggled with the most nagging characteristic of the time, i.e., the tendency of modern consciousness to reduce all forms of cultural expression to the status of propaganda, leaving those who would strive for the spiritual redemption of our culture with few strategies other than political action.” I care about preserving that beauty so I can continue to enjoy it, yet my life is wrapped up in work not directly related to preserving the natural world. Our modern world’s love of “stuff” plays a big part in the destruction of natural beauty, and while I make efforts to reduce my needs and to recycle, I struggle with what I should be doing in order to make a difference in the world when I am not a political activist. Cunningham in his review of Wolfe’s book responds to this question and presents Wolfe’s alternative viewpoint, “Where I have long argued that the tendency of modern people to politicize every aspect of their lives, religion included, is the inevitable product of a flawed historical narrative, Wolfe argues, with convincing clarity, that “the problem” is essentially an aesthetic one, and can be remedied through a renewed appreciation, and a re-appropriation of the aesthetic sphere.” So, what is the role of aesthetics in saving the world? What part does the imagination play? Art does, indeed, bring people of divergent perspectives together. To what extent does it or can it change the way we relate to the world at large?

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn when pondering Dostoyevsky’s statement about beauty said, “It is vain to affirm that which the heart does not confirm.” It is not a matter of one thing over the other he seems to suggest. If the heart isn’t involved, nothing is going to happen. The trajectory of western history has made us rely on reason and remain skeptical of the heart. If the heart is not involved, however, the brain isn’t in full function. The heart and brain work together. (You can attend a conference in Paris about this idea if you are interested!) The heart helps engage the brain, and in fact acts as a second kind of brain. Solzhenitsyn goes on to say in his essay about beauty, that if  “Truth and Good are crushed or amputated and cannot reach the light—yet perhaps the whimsical, unpredictable, unexpected branches of Beauty will make their way through and soar up to that very place and in this way perform the work of all three.” Beauty, he suggests, will serve in the place of Truth and Goodness if they are destroyed. Beauty is somehow stronger. When it comes to matters of basic survival, however, is it enough that a person offer poems, or make music, or take photos when people across the street from me live without water, when people are without adequate clothes, medicine or food? Is it okay that some offer beauty while others assist with the other more basic needs? Can we work together to meet the world’s needs?

Joan Chittister, a follower of the Benedictine tradition, talks about three aspects of what it means to do good works; celebrating beauty, honoring the word, and practicing nonviolence. It has never occurred to me before that celebrating beauty is doing a “good work.” Chittister explains that “The monastic life exists in pursuit of the beauty of the invisible God. Wherever you find the beautiful you discover another incarnation of God. Members of Monasteries of the Heart know that to revive the soul of the world, we ourselves must become beauty, become contemplatives. And to be contemplatives, we must surround ourselves with beauty, and consciously, relentlessly, give it away until the tiny world for which we are responsible begins to reflect the raw beauty that is God.” She lists the following as ideas for celebrating beauty:

•Begin a garden in an inner city neighborhood or your own neighborhood
•Donate art pieces to inner city schools
•Give away flowers or art postcards on street corners
•Take inner city children to hear an orchestra or to the museum or to a play or dance performance
• Join or start a threshold choir. These women choirs visit those who are sick and dying:www.thresholdchoir.org

Chittister suggests that yes, beauty is a basic need. After reading the list she provides, I can begin to see new ways in which beauty can, indeed begin to save the world by helping people to honor the natural world and to see ourselves in relationship to it as well as to each other. I love the idea of sharing beauty with people living on the street, of taking art to the homeless or offering flowers. Maybe I can’t assume that because I need beauty, they, too need it, but who could reject the beauty of a flower?

I remember several years back when our biking group had been out for a ride in the rural areas several hours outside of Delhi. Our van broke down on the way home, and we had to wait four or five hours on the road for a car to be sent from Delhi that could carry the van to a location where it could be repaired. In the mean time, we sat on a charpoy in a roadside farmhouse compound where joint Muslim families were living together. They fed us a dinner of chapati and vegetable curry. While there, I asked one of the children what he thought was the most beautiful thing where he lived. He replied, “The mosque, and the pond.” His response makes sense. In God’s house we are brought in touch with the wonder of life and the world. In nature, we are brought in touch with the wonder of God, and of Life itself–we see how we are part of the bigger wonder of the universe and can stand in awe.

Riis watched the stone cutter hit the stone with the hammer, and it wasn’t until the hundredth time that the blow made a difference. Singing our songs, writing our poems, telling our stories, carving our stones, maybe they don’t make the pollution go away but these acts in the least help to restore the soul and the more we grow toward wholeness, won’t it also help others to know how to create wholeness as well? I am not a politician. Neither am I Jacob Riis. I don’t know how to change the things in this world that are much bigger than what is in my power to change. Suffering, such as living in a world of polluted air, is part of life. We have collectively created our suffering. But inside this place of suffering it is still possible to find a way to share beauty with others. Are the ones who long for beauty those who Jesus was speaking of when he said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit?”  When we share beauty with others, we are brought into their heart, and perhaps through touching others we can be brought into the heart of seeign our connection to the world and to Life itself.

The threshold choirs sing to the dying, singing to people as an act of healing and beauty in the midst of suffering. Can beauty save the world? Mark Helprin in his novel, Solider of the Great War says, ” To see the beauty of the world is to put your hands on the lines that run uninterrupted through life and through death. Touching them is an act of hope, for perhaps someone on the other side, if there is another side, is touching them, too.” Perhaps if we all offer the beauty we have to those spirits choking in the world’s pollution in its myriad forms, an answer will emerge that we didn’t expect. Perhaps it takes more than a hundred strikes on the stone before we will be able to move into a different way of living and being. As in Poco’s song, we can keep on trying.