Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Message to Garcia

I served in the US Navy in a staff position at one point in my career with a US Marine Corps lieutenant colonel at Naval Special Warfare Group One, Coronado, California. This colonel, my peer at the time, stressed the importance of fulfilling a task completely and with excellence and his discussions of the Message to Garcia echo in my mind at times.

For those of you who read this blog who may be adrift in your lives, wondering what the world wants, this provides the answer. It wants people like LT Rowan who can carry a message to Garcia. As Hubbard (link below) put it:

"My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the boss is away as well as when he is home. And the man who, when given a letter for Garcia, quietly takes the missive, without asking any idiotic questions, and with no lurking intention of chucking it into the nearest sewer, or of doing aughte else but deliver it, never gets 'laid off,' nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is the one long, anxious search for just such individuals."

This is the first person account of First Lieutenant Andrew S. Rowan, 19th US Infantry, who took a message to Lieutenant-General Garcia, leader of an insurgent army at the outset of the Spanish American War who was "somewhere in Eastern Cuba". (CLICK HERE)

Elbert Hubbard commented on the Message to Garcia and his comments were memorialized in an essay of the same name. (CLICK HERE to read the essay)

Both the story written by LT Rowan and essay by Hubbard are written in the language of the day, maximum verbosity and a style out of fashion. Be warned.


WoFat said...

I am adrift in my life and wondering what the world wants. Please send money.

LL said...

WoFat is like Scrooge McDuck, sitting in his manse on mountains of gold, surrounded by fierce hounds from hell that protect him with their very lives.

Opus #6 said...

I am reminded of the words coach Terry Donahue spoke to me. Do a good job at the job that you're doing. And future jobs will take care of themselves.

LL said...

On a Scottish Doorpost:


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