Acres of Diamonds
One of Earl Nightingale's most memorable stories
was called ''Acres of Diamonds.''
The story is about a farmer who lived in South Africa at the time diamonds were discovered there. When a visitor told him of the millions being made by men who were discovering diamond mines, he promptly sold his farm and left to search for diamonds himself. He wandered all over the continent but found no diamonds and penniless, in poor health, he threw himself into a river and drowned.
Long before the farmer died, the man who had bought his farm found an unusual and very large stone in the creek bed that ran through it. He put his giant rock on his mantle as a curio. Enter here the same visitor who had told the original farmer about the diamond discoveries. He examined the stone and told the new owner he had discovered one of the largest diamonds ever found and that it was worth a king's ransom. To his surprise the farmer found the entire farm was covered with stones of that kind.
Thus the farm, which the first farmer had sold so that he could go look elsewhere for diamonds, turned out to be one of the richest diamond mines in the world. The point that Dr. Conwell made was that the first farmer had owned literally acres of diamonds and had made the mistake of not examining what he had before he ran off to something he hoped would prove to be better. He would then point out that each of us is like the first farmer. . .
No matter where we live or what we do, we are surrounded by our own acres of diamonds - if we simply look for them. Like the unfamiliar stones that covered the farm, they might not appear to be diamonds at first glance. Yet a little study, deeper examination and stone polishing will reveal our talents and abilities for what they really are.
Our opportunities may often be right where we are. . .