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fearful than earthquakes, famine, or pestilence? The blight which might fall on our prosperity drew attention; but the thought of devoting as a people, our power and resources to the destruction of mankind, of those whom a common nature, whom reason, conscience, and Christianity command us to love and save-did this thrill us with horror? Did the solemn inquiry break forth through our land: Is the dreadful necessity indeed laid upon us to send abroad death and wo? No. There was little manifestation of the sensibility with which men and Christians should look such an evil in the face.
As a people we are still seared and blinded to the crimes and miseries of war. The principles of honor, to which the barbarism and infatuation of dark ages gave birth, prevail among us. The generous, merciful spirit of our religion is little understood. The law of love preached from the cross and written in the blood of the Savior is trampled upon by public men. The true dignity of man, which consists in breathing and cherishing God's spirit of justice and philanthropy toward every human being, is counted folly in comparison with that spirit of vindictiveness and self-aggrandizement which turns our earth into an image of the abodes of the damned. How long will the friends of humanity, of religion, of Christ, silently, passively, uncomplainingly suffer the men of this world, the ambitious, vindictive, and selfish, to array them against their brethren in conflicts which they condemn and abhor? Shall not truth, humanity, and the mild and holy spirit of Christianity find a voice to rebuke and awe the wickedness which precipitates nations into war, and to startle and awaken nations to their fearful responsibility in taking arms against the children of their Father in heaven? Prince
of Peace! Savior of men! speak in Thine own voice of love, power, and fearful warning; and redeem the world, for which Thou hast died, from lawless and cruel passions, from the spirit of rapine and murder, from the powers of darkness and hell!
CARRYING A MESSAGE TO GARCIA
BY ELBERT HUBBARD
In all this Cuban business there is one man who stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain fastnesses of Cuba-no one knew where. No mail nor telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly.
What to do!
Some one said to the President, "There is a fellow by the name of Rowan 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 the 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 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?"
By the Eternal! 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 and that, but a stiffening of the vertebræ which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing'Carry a message to Garcia."
General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias. No man who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands were needed, but has been well-nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man— the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it.
Slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference and half-hearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook or threat he forces or bribes other men to assist him or, mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle and sends him an angel of light for an assistant.
You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office-six clerks are within call. Summon any one and make this request: "Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correggio."
Will the clerk quietly say, "Yes, sir," and go do the task?
On your life he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions: Who was he?
Where is the encyclopedia?
Was I hired for that?
Don't you mean Bismarck?
What's the matter with Charlie doing it?
Is he dead?
Is there any hurry?
Sha'n't I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?
What do you want to know for?
And I will lay you ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia-and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course I may lose my bet, but according to the law of average I will not.
Now if you are wise, you will not bother to explain to your "assistant" that Correggio in indexed under the C's, not in the K's, but you will smile sweetly and say, "Never mind," and go look it up yourself. And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift-these are the things that put pure socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all?
A first mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread of getting "the bounce" Saturday night holds many a worker to his place. Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply can neither spell nor punctuate-and do not think it necessary to. Can such a one write a letter to Garcia? "You see that bookkeeper," said the foreman to me in a large factory.
"Yes, what about him?"
"Well, he's a fine accountant, but if I'd send him up-town on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and, on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main Street, would forget what he had been sent for."
Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?
We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy exprest for the "down-trodden denizen of the sweat-shop" and the "homeless wanderer searching for honest employment," and with it all often go many hard words for the men in power.
Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time, in a vain attempt to get frowzy ne'er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long, patient striving after "help" that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away "help" that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues: only, if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer —but out, and forever out, the incompetent and unworthy go. It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best-those who can carry a message to Garcia.
I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to any one else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He can not give orders, and he will not receive them. Should a message be