“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” – Russell H. Conwell, Acres of Diamonds
A FARMER in Africa heard glowing stories of other farmers who have become rich by discovering diamond mines in the continent. Filled with excitement and visions of sparkling diamonds, he sold his farm quickly and set out to become a diamond prospector himself. He wandered far and wide for many years crisscrossing the huge continent hoping to strike it rich. Hope and change however proved to be a lame strategy. Alas and alack, the years took their toll and finally, having grown old, tired and despondent over his failures, he ended his life.
Meanwhile, the man who bought his farm settled in and one bright day, while fording a stream on the land he now owned, was attracted to a gleam of colored rock at the bottom of the shallow water. He picked it up out of curiosity and displayed it on his mantel as décor. One day a visitor noticed the rock and almost fainted. He asked the farmer what he thought it was and the farmer innocently said, it was a pretty crystal. The visitor told him that it was probably one of the biggest diamonds he had ever seen. It turns out that the stream had many more such diamonds at its bottom.
The first farmer never knew he was standing on his own acres of diamonds. He already owned the land free and clear which he had sold practically for a song and a dance. If he only took stock of what he had, surveyed his surroundings and explored and worked on his own acres, his story might have had a happy ending.
This story is a staple used by noted motivational speakers and writers to bring home a point. And for good reason… The “Acres of Diamond” Story is a powerful metaphor to inspire people to explore and harness their own potential as human beings striving to reach their goal of achieving the riches they seek, whether tangible, intangible or a hybrid of both.
In the most obvious terms, riches could mean physical wealth like money in the bank, a comfortable retirement, celebrity status and the perks that come with it. However, there are also those parameters that are harder to achieve and can’t be bought outright by money, like inner peace, contentment, serenity, a healthy mind in a healthy body filled with good spirit and well being or a long, happy, meaningful life. The wisest ones go for a mix of both the tangible and the intangible. You get to choose your very own definition of wealth.
Oftentimes, staying the course and having the wisdom and the patience to use the resources found directly right under our noses and the neurons firing in the brain between our ears offer better odds than seeking out those greener pastures.
As one smart aleck pointed out, the other pasture is always greener simply because it has a gardener that waters, fertilizes and fusses over it all the time. (And used often as a multilevel marketing ploy to recruit people for get-rich quick-schemes. But I digress.)
Staying the course and mining your own acres of diamonds could also apply to married couples going through tough times. There are always critical moments that would require partners to fight for their marriage and stay committed no matter the struggle. There is the struggle of the infidelity of one partner attracted to another, maybe a young spring chicken or a hunk with washboard abs waiting in the wings, the struggle to rise above health issues or the struggle to keep their heads above financial waters or the struggle to stay as a family despite the discord brought about by various debilitating addictions.
Many seem to think they can hit the reset button by trading up to another partner. They think that if they can only find the right one, find Ms. or Mr. Perfect, life would be better.
Oftentimes, that route simply leads to more troubles ahead, more complications, mor
heartaches and crushing disappointments.
If one treasures the intangible acres of diamonds built by years of being together in the form of happy memories and achievements, scrapping the negativity, overlooking irritations or editing out the heartaches through genuine forgiveness brought about by unceasing prayers, perhaps staying the course and loving the one you’re with, might not be too difficult. With faith and determination, you can mine your own acres of diamonds right in your own marriage, right in your own backyard.
The question is, are we mining our own acres of diamonds in every area of our lives right now? And if not, why not?
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The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the Asian Journal, its management, editorial board and staff.
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Nota Bene: Monette Adeva Maglaya is SVP of Asian Journal Publications, Inc. To send comments, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org