Message to Garcia revisited
I just discovered an essay that is 100 years old by Elbert Hubbard.
Message to Garcia:
The essay celebrates the initiative of a soldier who is assigned and accomplishes a daunting mission. He asks no questions, makes no objections, requests no help, but accomplishes the mission. The essay exhorts the reader to apply this attitude to his own life as an avenue to success. Its wide popularity reflected the general appeal of self-reliance and energetic problem solving in American culture. Its “don’t ask questions, get the job done” message was often used by business leaders as a motivational message to their employees.
The setting of the account is the year 1898 during the Spanish-American War in Cuba.
When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountains of Cuba, No one knew where. No mail or telegraph could reach him. The President must secure his co-operation, and quickly.
What to do!
Someone said to the President, “There is a fellow by the name of Rowan; He will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.”
Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How “the fellow by name of Rowan” took the letter, sealed it up in an oil-skin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and having delivered his letter to Garcia are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail.
The point I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, “Where is he at?”
There is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statue placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this or that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing “Carry a message to Garcia.”
So what have I learned?
1. Find a need in your world that needs doing and decide to fill that need.
2. A life without challenges leads to a shallowed existence
3. Live and work on purpose. Search for a task, when completed will add meaning to your life
Helen Keller said “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing”
What can you do to live on purpose?
a) Have an open mind.
b) When you are right and the time is right (now) providence will provide
Life is the tightest commodity available, 25,500 days on average. Enjoy the Journey and Leave a Legacy
Elbert Hubbard died with the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915, en route with his wife to England and Berlin on a mission to encourage an end of war. He was optimistic in this endeavor, despite a notice in the New York Times warning that vessels flying the flag of Great Britain, or any of her allies, could be sunk.
Major Andrew Rowan died obscurely in the Presidio of San Francisco. It was 22 years before the Army decorated him for this mission.