And failing. I am reminded of a not very well known poem with a really, really famous closing couplet.
We are the hollow men
We are the stuffed men
Headpiece filled with straw. Alas!
Our dried voices, when
We whisper together
Are quiet and meaningless
As wind in dry grass
Or rats' feet over broken glass
In our dry cellar ~ The Hollow Men by T. S. Eliot