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捎信给加西亚

发表于2003/4/24 8:54:00  1029人阅读

捎信给加西亚

 

[]阿尔伯特·哈伯德

写于1899

 

在一切有关古巴的事件里,有一个人就象一颗不会陨落的巨星,一直明耀在我记忆的地平线之上。美西战争爆发后,美国必须马上跟西班牙的反抗军首领加西亚取得联系。加西亚在古巴的茫茫大山中——没人知道确切的地点,也没有信件或电报可以直达他那里,但美国总统必须尽快获得他的合作。

 

怎么办才好呢?!

 

有人对总统说:“有个叫罗文的家伙,能够帮您找到加西亚,想必也只有他才能做得到。”

 

罗文被找了来,并且交给他一封写给加西亚的信。关于那个叫罗文的家伙,如何拿了信,把它封装进一个油纸袋里,再绷贴在心窝上,然后乘坐一艘营运快艇,花了4天时间,于夜晚在濒临古巴海岸的地方登陆,就此隐没进莽莽丛林中,并且在3个星期里,穿行过一个岛屿,又徒步横越了整个敌占国,才把信交给了加西亚——这些细节都不是我想详述的。

 

我要强调的重点是:美国总统麦金利将一封写给加西亚的信交给罗文,而罗文接过信后并没问:“他在什么地方?”万岁!这样一种人,我们应该为他塑造不朽的雕像,放在每一所大学里。年轻人不只是需要学习书本上的知识,也不只是要领受种种指教,而是更要有一种敬业精神,能忠诚于上级的托付,迅速行动起来,全心全意去执行任务——“把信送给加西亚”。

 

加西亚将军现在已不在人世,但还会有其他的加西亚。

 

凡需众多人手的企业经营者,有时都会因一般人无法或不愿专心去做一件事而大吃一惊。懒懒散散、马马虎虎、大大咧咧、三心二意的做事态度,似乎已成家常便饭。除非是想方设法、苦口婆心、威逼利诱地叫下属来帮忙;或者期望上帝能大发仁慈现出奇迹,派下一个光明天使来相助,否则,就没人能把事情办成。

 

您作为看客,不妨就拿这件事来做个试验:设想你此刻正坐在办公室里——周围有六个职员。

 

把其中随便某一个叫过来,并要求他:“请查查百科全书,并帮我把萨布素的生平做成一篇摘录。”

 

那个职员会镇静地说:“好的,先生。”,然后就去执行吗?

 

敢说他绝不会,反而会满脸狐疑地提出一个或多个诸如下面的问题:

 

他是谁呀?

 

哪套百科全书?

 

百科全书放在哪儿?

 

这是我的工作吗?

 

你不是在指格萨尔吧?

 

为什么不叫张三去做呢?

 

他过世了吗?

 

急不急?

 

要不要我把书拿来好让你自己去查啊?

 

你为什么要查他呢?

 

我敢以十比一的赌注跟你打赌,在你回答了他所提出的问题,解释了如何去查那个资料,以及你为什么要查的理由之后,那个职员会走开,去找另外一个职员来帮他一起搜寻——然后又会回来对你说,根本就查不到这个人。当然我有可能输掉赌注,但照一般规律来讲,我绝不会输的。

 

事到如今,如果你还明智的话,你就不会再不厌其烦地对你的“助手”解释,萨布素应该在清史稿里去查,而不是在元史里,你会满面春风地说:“算啦。”然后自己亲自去查。

 

这种被动的行为,这种道德的昏庸,这种心灵的脆弱,这种姑息的作风——这些都会把一个糟糕透顶的社会带入未来。如果人们都不能为了自身利益而自发地行动起来,你又怎能期望他们会为了大众利益而有所做为呢?看来安排一个拿着狼牙棒的监工是十分必要的了,并要按其排名使众多工人处于周末晚上会被“炒掉”的恐慌中。

 

你登广告征求一名速记员,应聘者中十之八九不会拼也不会写——他们甚至不认为这些是必要条件。

 

这种人能传信给加西亚吗?

 

在一家大型工厂里,主管对我说:“你看那个记帐员。”

 

“我看到了,他怎样?”

 

“他是个不错的会计,不过如果我派他到城里去办个小差事,他可能把任务完成,但也可能就在途中走进一家又一家酒吧,而当他到了闹市区,可能根本就忘了他要做的差事。”

 

这种人你能托他送信给加西亚吗?

 

近来我们听到了许多人,对那些“在血汗工厂里被压榨的工人”以及那些“为求温饱而找工的无家可归者” 表示同情,同时把那些雇主骂得体无完肤。

 

但从没有人提到,那些老板一直到年老,都无法使那些不求上进的懒虫做点正经的工作;也没有人提到,有些老板长久而耐心地想感动那些他一转身就投机取巧的员工。

 

在每个商店和工厂,都有一个持续不断的整顿过程。公司负责人经常送走那些显然无法对公司有所贡献的员工,同时也吸引新的进来。不论业务怎么忙碌,这种整顿一直在进行着。只有当公司不景气并且就业机会不多时,整顿才会出现较佳效果——那些不能胜任、没有才能的人,都会被去掉,并被摈弃,长久地被摈弃。

 

这就是适者生存。自我利益驱使每个老板只保留那些最佳员工——那些能捎信给加西亚的人。

 

我认识一个极为聪明的人,他没有自己创业的能力,而对别人来说也没有一丝一毫的价值,因为他老是疯狂地怀疑他的雇主在压榨他,或存心压迫他。他无法下命令,也不敢接受命令。如果你要他送封信给加西亚,他极有可能回答:“你自己去吧。”

 

这个人今夜还在四处找工作呢,寒风吹透了他褴褛的衣衫。没有人知道还有谁再敢雇佣他,因为他是个充满了愤恨的离经叛道者。没办法能说服他加以改变,除非可以让他穿上9号厚底靴来跳芭蕾舞。

 

当然,我明白象这种精神上残疾的人,并不会比一个身体上不健全的人更值得同情。但是,我们也应该同情那些操心去经营一个大企业的人,并为他们掬一捧热泪!——他们不会因为下班的铃声而放下工作,他们因为努力去使那些漠不关心、偷懒被动、没有良心的员工不太离谱而日增白发,如果没有这份努力和心血,那些员工将挨饿和无家可归。

 

我是否说得太严重了?可能是的。不过,当整个世界都变成贫民窟时,我仍愿为成功者说句同情的话——这种人借着极不寻常的机遇来引导他人去进取,并获得了成功;但他们从中所得到的却是一片空虚——除了单纯满足温饱的衣食外,就都是一片空无。

 

我曾为了三餐而替人工作,也曾当过老板,我知道这两方面的种种甘苦。贫穷是不好的,贫苦是不值得推介的,但并非所有的老板都是贪婪者、专横者,就象并非所有的穷人都是善良者一样。

 

我衷心钦佩那些不论老板在与不在都会努力工作的人,我也敬重那些能够把信交给加西亚的人——静静地把信拿去,不会提出任何愚笨问题,也不会随手把信丢进水沟里,而是不顾一切地把信送到;这种人永远不会被开除,也永远不必为了要求加薪而罢工。文明,就是为了焦心地寻找这种人才的一段长远过程。这种人不论要求任何事情都会获得;这种人是如此珍稀罕有,以至于没有哪个老板能承受得起让他走掉而带来的损失。他在每个都市、城镇和乡村,以及每个办公室、商店、工厂,都会受到欢迎。世界在呼唤这种人,急需也极需这种人——这种能够捎信给加西亚的人。

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Message to Garcia

By Elbert Hubbard

(Written in 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?

 

Which encyclopedia?

 

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.

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