Blog 1686 – 05.03.2020
No Matter What
No matter the terrible consequences to health, lives, and work caused by the COVID-19 Corona Virus, we will get through this. And even though it is becoming increasingly likely that it may take longer with the end result being at best a new normal, some things will not change and though hard to believe to many now, some of the changes may be for the better if we allow these tragedies to cause us to re-think somethings, i.e. that our business is making better lives not just tremendous profits for a few and that it is high time we took better care of the planet and the people on it and not just the Captains and the Kings. That is the title of a Taylor Caldwell book that came almost fifty years ago and was made into an NBC mini-series in the mid-nineteen-seventies. I have seen the mini-series several times and read the book many times more.
It is an epic tale of a poor Irish immigrant boy who comes to America in the early 1800’s with his little brother and sick mother in steerage. On the arduous journey to meet their father in America, the mother gives birth to his baby sister, and dies shortly thereafter. In the throws of pain as she dies she smiles in her fever as she sees her beloved husband Daniel Armagh coming for her. Joseph the oldest son, about fifteen, grieves but briefly the loss of his beloved mother feeling the urgency to get himself, his brother, and new sister to their dad. He soon learns that his Da has also died preceding his mother in death. A kindly Catholic priest on board the ship gets the children ashore in Pennsylvania after New York refuses to let the passengers on the ship disembark there for fear of cholera on board the ship. The young teen, Joseph Francis Xavier Armagh, fearing the Catholic nuns, at the convent where the three end up in PA, will break up his family allowing others to adopt his baby sister and younger brother, makes a bargain with the mother-superior to contribute a few dollars a week for the children’s upkeep till he can provide a home for them. He vows to himself before God that he will do anything, anything, to make a better life for his siblings and to keep his diminished family together. And he does just that, risking life limb, and in his mind hell itself, in the singular pursuit of the one thing he thinks will save them – the almighty dollar. Though noble perhaps his motives, and amazing his resolve, the arduous and often unscrupulous tasks he undertakes harden Joseph till in the end his business dealings bring a curse upon him and all he loves. When one puts profits always first, and believes that the end justifies the means, his pile may indeed grow to be the biggest, but at what cost to himself and his loved ones.
Unless love be and remain not just our motive but our primary and end goal we will always lose our way along the way. That is the lesson we must all eventually learn, no matter this virus, or what comes next, no matter what.
Your friend and fellow traveler,
While staying at home to save lives, order a copy of the book or miniseries, Captains and the Kings – Taylor Caldwell and check it out for yourself.
You know what they say,
April showers bring the flowers
That always bloom in May.