Disclaimer: The following short story is inspired by a speech made by one Mr. Russel Herman Conwell (1843-1925). You can read the original speech at: “https://www.americanrhetoric.com/speeches/rconwellacresofdiamonds.htm“
A Brief Note
This short story that I wrote for you is my variation of a story I first heard from Earl Nightingale.
Earl Nightingale talked about a man born in 1843, who later became the first president of Temple University in Philadelphia.
He has a question that resonates to a lot of people, “Why couldn’t there be a fine college for poor, but deserving young men?”
Russell Herman Conwell was a lawyer, a newspaper editor, and a clergyman among his many roles in his life.
He gave more than 6,000 lectures all over the country and in each one of them he told a story called, “Acres of Diamonds”.
Earl Nightingale tells this story in this video (22:30 to 33:09):
and here you can read my variation of this story.
I’d like to hear everyone’s comments/suggestions and/or thoughts if you would. You can leave them in the space provided below.
inspired by Russell Conwell’s lectures; written by migzzz
There is a small village in Africa where farmers lived. Travelers, often settlers, walk these roads that run along the farms. Different kinds of people with different kinds of stories. A traveler met a farmer while traveling from far away on a road that seemed endless.
“I come with good news, my friend.” The traveler told the farmer, smiling as he shakes his hand.
“Welcome, my brother. What is this good news of yours?” The farmer asked, returning the friendly gesture.
“Nora from the North is now a millionaire. Apparently she discovered a mine of diamonds close to where she lived.” The traveler told the farmer.
Upon hearing this, the farmer thought about what he would do if he too, became a millionaire. The thought pleased the farmer and smiled to himself. “That is good news. Thank you for your tale. Please, tell me more. Spend the night here as I know you have traveled a good distance, and much more to go.”
The traveler agreed and spent the night at the farmer’s house. In the morning, the traveler left some gold as thanks for
the farmer, and went on his way.
A second traveler was passing through the same roads later that afternoon, and also met the farmer.
“My good friend, I bring good news from the South. Sokka from the South discovered a field of diamonds, he is now a millionaire.” The second traveler informed the farmer.
“Please, tell me more. Spend the night here and share your tales from your travels.” The farmer said, welcoming the second traveler.
The second traveler agreed and told the farmer his tales. The farmer however, was thinking about the diamonds, unable to focus on what the traveler was sharing.
“Perhaps, I should sell my farm to search for these diamonds. Seems like everyone is finding them everywhere. I should search for them myself.” He thought to himself before the night ended.
The morning dawned, the second traveler left some gold for the farmer as gratitude, and went on his way.
That afternoon, a third traveler was passing by. Like the others before him, he met the farmer.
“I have news from the West. It is good. Wesley from the West has earned millions from discovering diamonds just nearby where he lived!” The third traveler exclaimed.
“Tell me your stories, my brother. Spend the night here so that you may rest well. I know that you have a long way to go.” The farmer invited the third traveler.
The third traveler agreed and shared his stories over dinner.
The farmer this time, grew even more determined and sure that he would also find these diamonds that the travelers tell tales of.
“The next time someone comes through with stories of someone discovering diamonds, I will consider that as a sign to sell my farm to that traveler, and use that money to travel and search the diamonds for myself.” He told himself that night. “This will definitely lead me to millions.”
When the morning dawned, the third traveler left some gold for the farmer’s hospitality, and went on his way.
Sure enough, that afternoon, a fourth traveler came and met the farmer.
“I have tales from the East. Esther from the east discovered diamonds on her land and is now a millionaire.” The traveler told the farmer.
The farmer smiled brightly at the traveler. “With your good news, I give you a good offer. I wish to search for these diamonds myself and want to sell you my farm. With the money from the farm and some that I saved up, I will be able to travel the North, South, East, and West, and I am sure I will discover these diamonds myself, as others have discovered theirs. These diamonds will definitely bring me millions.”
The fourth traveler looked at him confused, “But my friend, your farm offers many good services to others and you are good at managing it. You could turn this into a great business for travelers like me, always looking for a place to stay.”
“Ah, you are correct. That is why I’m practically giving you the farm for a small price. It may be good for now but it will never bring me millions.” The farmer said, determined that he will find diamonds in his travels. This is after all, a sign.
“If you put it that way, then I shall accept your offer.” The traveler agreed, still surprised by the generous impulse of the farmer.
The farmer got his money from the traveler, and went on his way in search for the diamonds.
Many years past, the farmer kept looking. He looked for it in the North, the South, the East, and the West, searching for these diamonds tirelessly.
In the end, he never found them.
He grew poor and desperate as he wandered the lands in which he traveled. Eventually, becoming too weak and too hungry to travel further, he met his untimely death. Without ever discovering the diamonds he longed and so determined to search for.
Meanwhile, the traveler that settled in the farm was one day walking around the yard of the land he just bought, and discovered a strange looking rock. He picked it up and noticed that this particular part of the field is practically covered with these rocks.
He took the rock and studied it. Brought it to an expert for advice and learned from him. The strange looking rock eventually became a diamond of rare and of magnificent value, bringing the settler millions of unimaginable riches.
The farm in which the farmer sold to the traveler, was literally covered with acres of diamonds.
Mr. Russel Herman Conwell wishes to teach us that we all are standing in our own acres of diamonds. If one can just cultivate and enhance his skills more, and if one can just try to learn more information about how diamonds are formed, then one would find out that diamonds don’t look like diamonds in their rough state, and would have discovered that his farm, is also covered in diamonds.
We do not have to look for opportunities elsewhere, instead, we can create those opportunities on our own by using the resources available to us, and transforming them to give service to others.
These diamonds come in many forms in our lives. It varies in each individual’s talents and abilities. But know that we all have such awesome potential in us. That if we pay more attention and be more aware of ourselves and surroundings, we will discover that we are in fact standing, in our own acres of diamonds.
You can read Russel Conwell’s original speech of “Acres of Diamonds” at: