Sadly, this week passed away Colonel Ramón M. Barquín, a great man, with whom I have been a closed friend for many years. The Barquín and the Consuegra families have been part of my extended siblings. My son Guillermo and I have loved them dearly… We both deeply loved Colonel Barquín.
Colonel Barquín was a man of duty, honor, achievement, and courage, and being a proud cuban, he made a huge contribution to the quality of education and to the quality of life in Puerto Rico. His life in Puerto Rico was a magnificent testament to our youth and to our people. He shared with us his life of extraordinary stories and accomplishments, showing to all of us the beautiful meaning of stamina, tenacity, resistance and courage. Whenever Colonel Barquín came to my mind, or I should say to my heart, I thought of him as a humble man of honor and sacrifice. From a military man, to a community leader, from a tremendous athlete to a formidable youth counselor, coach or mentor, he served our society with respect, dignity, valor, vision and candor. He shared with all of us a profound significance of life, at times of pain and at times of triumph. He gave us so much and asked so little, and he was there ready to assist anyone who needed help or support.
One of the many thing that I admired of Colonel Barquín was that he always envisioned an inspiring future and he worked that to shape it rather than passively watching the future happen around him. (This seems to be a formidable cuban attribute, and he exposed it well). That is to say, that he had a pretty switch of motivation, but it was deep inside of him. He always encouraged people by fostering them to conceive great resolves and elicit equally great projects. This was not an isolated cognition and sentiment for him, because he was always eliciting great educational ideas and translating them into concrete realities. I remember one time, just before we engaged into what it was going to be his last Teodoro Moscoso’s marathon, that he instructed me that “extraordinary personal, team and institutional performance resulted when there was unrelentingly focus on big, hairy, audacious goals.
Colonel Barquín was driven by restless energy encapsulated in his belief that we all existed for doing something greater all the time. He was a man of convictions, of a team effort to execute something larger that any single person. Yet, as he showed us, team commitment followed individual commitment.
At his beloved American Military Academy, each student goes through the process of personally shaping and owning the humanistic goal of eliciting his own great and socially responsible purpose in life, and of motivating himself/herself to make an important contribution to the society. He was a humanist and an educator always sharing his wisdom, discipline, understanding, motivation, effort, collaboration, progress, example, and practicing what he preached.
His lasting question of, how students become responsible leaders, was followed by the answer that is was by knowing themselves, by creating world, by loving self and others, by aiming high. And when you really aim high you will find God. He was a Christian and he was a man of God.
Though a strong man, he was always compassionate, sensible and lovable. He modeled emotional intelligence when no one was talking about this factor. He was a man of peace, at ease with himself, making others feel comfortable in his presence.
We are going to miss him, but I know his beloved Academy is in very good hands. The Consuegra family is the same philosophy and DNA as of Barquín.
The life of Colonel Ramón M. Barquín always offered the great example of a hero, and of an achievements and extraordinary results.
Copyright 2008 QBS, Inc.