May 28, 2004

A Message to Garcia

A Message to Garcia: Elbert Hubbard wrote this short essay in 1899. The occasion of this story, the Spanish-American War, is a footnote in history now. But the point Hubbard makes is still relevant: competence and initiative matter.

Hubbard was an interesting character. In 1895 he founded the Roycrofters, a semi-communal community of artists and craftspeople in East Aurora, New York. He and his wife were lost at sea in 1915 while travelling aboard the Lusitania. The ship was struck by a torpedo fired by a German U-boat and sank. Most of the passengers and crew perished.

A quote attributed to Hubbard:
Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped.

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