Wow! This is not a simple essay to write about. It is so deep. One of the shortest “books” I have ever read, yet it yields more wisdom than a book of a 1000 pages. I will focus on just a few concepts that made an impact on me.
“The world has gone a slumming.” This statement occurs near the end of the essay. It sort of defined the over-all picture for me, of what Elbert Hubbard was saying in his A Message to Garcia.
He made a character analysis of his perception of the working man and set it to the reality of the workplace with an employer who has expectations of a business to run and make successful. In order to have a prosperous outcome, one needs to have dedicated, hard-working souls. This can then be applied to almost every other aspect in life. A deed worth doing must first be done right. One must first have the right person to do the job, one with integrity and strength of character. Just as Hubbard is lamenting the lack of such workers, we as conservatives can lament the lack of true principled men/women today as relates to out elected officials.
Along with this, I think a case needs to be made for the the strength and character of the employer. While expecting the workers to be loyal, conscientious and unfailing in their duties, the leader, employer or commander also must be made of the same cloth. How can one expect that out of your followers, if the one at the top does not follow the same precept? IMO, the same expectations must needs be on both sides. To have respect, integrity, and thus credibility, one must have earned it. This in turn attracts and holds the individuals of like work ethics and principles.
In one section, I immediately thought of Erick and RedState.
“And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift, are the things that put 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?”
Erick's direction of RedState is a reaction to the type of people Hubbard described; unless one takes action, independent action. Erick has acted with a firm will, calling us to act for ourselves, to do what others have forgotten and are not willing to do.
I bet many of you remember the Marine Corps advertisement that has been around a few years. The Marines are looking for “A Few Good Men.” The same underlying theme is present in those words.
One last reflection that flowed through my mind relates to the Christian Hymn, “Here I Am Lord” (1981) by Daniel Schutte. It connects to Isaiah 6:8 and you can read more here. The hymn is one of my favorites, and the refrain stays in one's mind. The verse has the Lord asking, “Whom shall I send?” and the refrain, “Here I am, Lord, Is it I Lord?”