Elbert Hubbard Love Quotes, Sayings and ‘A Message to Garcia‘
#1-3 BOOK OF EPIGRAMS, The Roycraft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams, 1923 [S]
1. If we are ever damned it will not be because we have loved too much, but because we have loved too little.
2. Lovers are fools, but Nature makes them so.
3. Love, we say, is life; but love without hope and faith is agonizing death.
#4 The Philistine, 1914 [S]
4. Love grows by giving. The love we give away is the only love we keep.
#5 Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard: His Mintage of Wisdom, Coined from a Life of Love, Laughter and Work, Volume 4, W. H. Wise & Company, 1923
5. To have power you must have life, and life in abundance. And life in abundance comes only through great love.
Elbert Green Hubbard (June 19, 1856 – May 7, 1915) was an American writer, publisher, artist, and philosopher. He was an influential exponent of the Arts and Crafts movement and is, perhaps, most famous for his essay A Message to Garcia. (Read more at Wikipedia)
Sayings by Elbert Hubbard
#1-6 BOOK OF EPIGRAMS, The Roycraft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams, 1923 [S]
1. A failure is a man who has blundered, but is not able to cash in the experience.
2. Every man has moments when he doubts his ability. So does every woman at times doubt her wit and beauty, and long to see them mirrored in a masculine eye. This is why flattery is acceptable. A woman will doubt everything you say except it be compliments to herself — here she believes you are truthful and mentally admires you for your discernment.
3. An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all.
4. If men could only know each other, they would never either idolize or hate.
5. Good people are only half as good, and bad people only half as bad, as other people regard them.
6. Do not take life too seriously – you will never get out of it alive.
#7-9 Quoted in Electrical Review, 1895, and on Genius, quoted in “Loyalty in Business: One and Twenty Other Good Things”, Cosimo, Inc., 1 December 2005
7. Genius is only the power of making continuous effort. The line between failure and success is so fine that we scarcely know when we pass it—so fine that we are often on the line and do not know it. How many a man has thrown up his hands at a time when a little more effort, a little more patience, would have achieved success.
8. In business, sometimes, prospects may seem darkest when really they are on the turn.
9. A little more persistence, a little more effort, and what seemed hopeless failure may turn to glorious success. There is no failure except in no longer trying. There is no defeat except from within, no really insurmountable barrier save our own inherent weakness of purpose.
#10-12 On How to Succeed, quoted in “Loyalty in Business: One and Twenty Other Good Things”, Cosimo, Inc., 1 December 2005
10. The secret of success is this: There is no secret of success.
11. Success is a result of mental attitude, and the right mental attitude will bring success in everything you undertake. In fact there is no such thing as failure, except to those who accept and believe in failure.
12. A great success is made up of an aggregation of little ones. These finally form a whole.
#13-15 Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard: His Mintage of Wisdom, Coined from a Life of Love, Laughter and Work, Volume 4, W. H. Wise & Company, 1923
13. Do your work with your whole heart and you will succeed — there is so little competition!
14. Recipe for having beautiful children: be a beautiful parent.
15. To love one’s friends, to bathe in the sunshine of life, to preserve a right mental attitude — the receptive attitude, the attitude of gratitude — and to do one’s work — these make the sum of an ideal life.
#16-18 A Thousand & One Epigrams, The Roycrofters, 1911
16. Get rid of your regrets. You are what you are on account of what you have experienced. And rightly understood, and accepted, all experiences are good, and the bitter ones best of all. I feel sorry for the souls who have not suffered.
17. Peace comes to him who brings it, and joy to him who gives it; but a perfect understanding comes to him only who loves perfectly.
18. People who take pains never to do any more than they get paid for, never get paid for any more than they do.
#19-25 BOOK OF EPIGRAMS, The Roycraft Dictionary and Book of Epigrams, 1923 [S]
19. Men do not lack strength; they lack the will to concentrate and act.
20. It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide on what to do.
21. Many a man’s reputation would not know his character if they met on the street.
22. The object of teaching a child is to enable him to get along without his teacher.
23. Your friend is the man who knows all about you, and still likes you.
24. He is a great man who accepts the lemons that Fate hands out to him and uses them to start a lemonade-stand.
25. Fear less — hope more; eat less — chew more; whine less — breathe more; hate less — love more, and all good things are yours.
#26 Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Orators, G.P. Putnam’s sons, 1907
26. It is opportunity that brings out the great man, but he only is great who prepares for the opportunity — who knows it will come — and who seizes upon it when it arrives.
#27 Selected Writings of Elbert Hubbard: His Mintage of Wisdom, Coined from a Life of Love, Laughter and Work, Volume 10, W. H. Wise & Company, 1922
27. Know what you want to do, hold the thought firmly, and do every day what should be done, and every sunset will see you that much nearer your goal.
28. There can be no secrets in life and morals, because Nature has so provided that every beautiful thought you know and every precious sentiment you feel, shall shine out of your face so that all who are great enough may see, know, understand, appreciate and appropriate. You can keep things only by giving them away.
#29 The Philistine Volume 31, 1910 [S]
29. The more harmony you possess, the stronger you are.
#30 The Philistine Volume 32, 1910-1911 December-May [S]
30. An optimist is a man who when he falls into the soup thinks of himself as being in the swim.
#31-32 The Motto Book, 1909 [S]
31. Never explain — your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you anyhow.
32. To escape criticism: Do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.
#33 The Fra: For Philistines and Roycrofters – Volume 13, E. Hubbard, 1914
33. There are two kinds of people in this world — those who are always getting ready to do something, and those who go ahead and do it.
#34 The Fra: For Philistines and Roycrofters, Volume 15, E. Hubbard, 1915
34. The best preparation for good work tomorrow is to do good work today; the best preparation for life in the hereafter is to live now.
A Message to Garcia, by Elbert Hubbard, 1899
In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion. When war broke out between Spain & the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain vastness 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’s 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, & 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 at?” 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 vertebrae 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. Slip-shod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, & 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, & 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?
Shan’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 is 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, 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 expressed for the “downtrodden denizen of the sweat-shop” and the “homeless wanderer searching for honest employment,” & 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 frowsy ne’er-do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long patient striving with “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 cannot give orders; and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, “Take it yourself.”
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 fire-brand of discontent. He is impervious to reason, and the only thing that can impress him is the toe of a thick-soled No. 9 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, slip-shod imbecility, and the heartless ingratitude, which, but for their enterprise, would be both hungry & homeless.
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 & 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; & all employers are not rapacious and high-handed, any more than all poor men are virtuous.
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 take 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, & needed badly – the man who can carry a message to Garcia.
Unsourced Elbert Hubbard Quotes
1. A man is not paid for having a head and hands, but for using them.
2. In order to have friends, you must first be one.
3. The best way to prepare for life is to begin to live.