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A Message to Garcia Review by Jeniffer Do NascimentoElbert Hubbard
25 State St.Mount
Morris, NY 14510
I am surprised I have never heard of A Message to Garcia. Originally written in 1899 by Elbert Hubbard. It has been translated into over thirty different languages and distributed to government and military officials, as well as private schools around the world.
Elbert Hubbard’s aspiration in life was to inspire men and women to a higher level of excellence in every aspect of life. And he did just that (the world over) with A Message to Garcia.
This short book, just 106 pages in length, is profoundly encouraging and helpful. The easy to read text begins with the difficulty in obtaining employees who obey simple instructions without needless questions, work diligently when no one is watching, and take initiative when problems arise. It then examines the opposite type of employee—the lazy, thoughtless, careless one who cause problems for everyone around them.
Hubbard’s primary message was to show initiative in your work and to do your job quickly and promptly without asking unnecessary questions. At first, when reading through the book, it felt a bit like an employee handbook, but then I realized it is very applicable to me. I can take these values and standards and apply them to my parenting, our homeschool, how I instruct the children, even my marriage!
This printing of A Message to Garcia also includes one of Hubbard’s other works, The School of Life for Boys. Written as a school handbook, Hubbard’s educational philosophy and strategic plan guided boys to thoughtfully use their heads, hands, and hearts.
While I have underlined and highlighted much in the book, my favorite quote would be, “If this world is ever to stop the production of invalids, criminals, and parasites, the change can be brought about only through the forming of right habits in the young.”
Oh, how that hits close to home! As a mother of both a young adult and a baby, with several in between, I am now seeing the fruition of my parenting. I can see where I messed up. I see where I was too lax, or perhaps too strict. I also look back and see where I missed opportunities to slow down and enjoy my son’s youth. He’ll be going to college this year, and my time as a major influence in his life is coming to an end.
This is one book I wish I had when first becoming a parent—especially a mom to a boy. There is much to be learned from A Message to Garcia for everyone.
-Product review by Jeniffer Do Nascimento, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, June 2017