[Sidenote: A spiritual cripple]
Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one who knows him dare employ him, for he is a regular firebrand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled Number Nine boot.
Of course I know that one so morally deformed is no less to be pitied than a physical cripple; but in our pitying let us drop a tear, too, for the men who are striving to carry on a great enterprise, whose working hours are not limited by the whistle, and whose hair is fast turning white through the struggle to hold in line dowdy indifference, slipshod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry and homeless.
[Sidenote: A word of sympathy for the man who succeeds]
[Sidenote: Rags not necessarily a recommendation]
Have I put the matter too strongly? Possibly I have; but when all the world has gone a-slumming I wish to speak a word of sympathy for the man who succeeds—the man who, against great odds, has directed the efforts of others, and having succeeded, finds there’s nothing in it: nothing but bare board and clothes. I have carried a dinner-pail and worked for day’s wages, and I have also been an employer of labor, and I know there is something to be said on both sides. There is no excellence, per se, in poverty; rags are no recommendation; and all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.
[Sidenote: Good men are always needed]
[Sidenote: Needed today and needed badly—A MAN]
My heart goes out to the man who does his work when the “boss” is away, as well as when he is at 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 aught else but deliver it, never gets “laid off,” nor has to go on a strike for higher wages. Civilization is one long, anxious search for just such individuals. Anything such a man asks shall be granted. His kind is so rare that no employer can afford to let him go. He is wanted in every city, town and village—in every office, shop, store and factory.
The world cries out for such: he is needed, and needed badly—the man who can carry
A MESSAGE TO GARCIA.
To act in absolute freedom
and at the same time know that
responsibility is the price of freedom is salvation.
HERE THEN ENDETH THE PREACHMENT, A MESSAGE TO GARCIA, AS WRITTEN BY FRA ELBERTUS AND DONE INTO A BOOK BY THE ROYCROFTERS AT THEIR SHOP, WHICH IS IN EAST AURORA, NEW YORK.
The supreme prayer of my heart is not to be learned or “good,” but to be Radiant.