From diverse sources there flows a continuing pressure
to retain high ambition…Coupled with this positive emphasis upon the obligation
to maintain lofty goals is a correlative emphasis upon the penalizing of
those who draw in their ambitions. Americans are admonished “not
to be a quitter” for in the dictionary of American culture, as in the lexicon
of youth, “there is no such world as ‘fail.’” The cultural manifesto
is clear: one must not quite, must not cease striving, must not lessen
his goals, for “not failure, but low aim, is crime.” (1968, pp. 192-193).
Thus the culture enjoins the acceptance of three cultural axioms: First,
all should strive for the same lofty goals since these are open to all;
second, present seeming failure is but a way-station to ultimate success;
and their, genuine failure consists only in the lessening or withdrawal
of ambition (1968, p. 193).