Richard S. Lundin
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Personal injury and family law attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and the District of Columbia
I wanted to share with our friends and clients this story that I tell my kids. The story is Acres of Diamonds and it was told by an American lawyer and the founder of Temple University, Russell Conwell (1843 - 1925). He told it more than 6,000 times to audiences throughout America and the world. It was first published in 1890. The moral of the story is timeless.

Acres of Diamonds

There once lived by the River Indus a man with a very large farm, with orchards, grain fields and gardens. The farmer had money and was a wealthy and contented man. One day a wise man of the East visited the farmer and that evening as they sat by the fire and the wise man told the farmer how diamonds were made. The wise man told the famer that if he had one diamond the size of his thumb he could purchase the country and if he had a mine of diamonds he could place his children upon thrones through the influence of their great wealth. The farmer heard all about diamonds, how much they were worth, and went to his bed that night a poor man. He had not lost anything, but he was poor because he was discontented and discontented because he feared he was poor. He said, "I want a mine of diamonds," and he lay awake all night.

In the morning, he asked the wise man, "Will you tell me where I find diamonds?" The wise man asked why he wanted to know, and the farmer replied, "I want to be immensely rich." The wise man told the famer, "Well, then, go along and find them. That is all you have to do - go and find them, and then you will have them." The farmer asked, "Where?" The wise man replied, "If you find a river that runs through white sands, between high mountains, in those white sands you will always find diamonds."

So the farmer sold his farm, collected his money, left his family in the care of a neighbor and away he went in search of diamonds. He searched throughout the Indus Valley, Mesopotamia, and the Mediterranean. He then wandered into Europe and at last when his money was all spent and he was in rags, wretchedness and poverty, he stood on the shore of the Bay of Barcelona in Spain, when a great tidal wave came rolling in. The poor, afflicted, suffering, dying man could not resist the awful temptation to cast himself into that incoming tide, and he sank beneath its foaming crest, never to rise in this life again.

Now, the man who had purchased that farmer's farm one day led his camel into the garden to drink, and as that camel put its nose into the shallow water of the garden book, the new owner noticed a curious flash of light from the white sands of the stream. He pulled out a black stone having an eye of light reflecting all the hues of the rainbow. He took the pebble into the house and put it on the mantel, and forgot all about it.

Several months later that same wise man from the East came to visit again, and the moment he saw the black pebble and flash of light from the mantel, he rushed up to it and exclaimed, "Here is a diamond! Has my friend, the farmer, returned?" The new owner replied, "Oh no, he has not returned and that is not a diamond. That is nothing more than a stone we found in our own garden." But the wise man persisted, "I know a diamond when I see it. I know positively that this is a diamond!"

So the wise man and the new owner rushed out into that old garden and stirred up the white sands with their fingers and lo! There came up other more beautiful and valuable gems than the first. And thus was discovered one of the most valuable diamond mines in the world!

But how sad for the farmer now deceased - had he remained at home and dug in his own cellar or underneath his own wheat fields or in his own garden, instead of wretchedness, starvation and death by suicide in a strange land, he would have had "acres of diamonds." For every acre of that old farm, yes every shovelful, afterward revealed gems that since have decorated the crowns of Kings and Queens.
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