Review of Acres of Diamond by Russell Conwell
Russell Herman Conwell, a lawyer for about fifteen years until
he became a clergyman, relates a story told to him by an Arab
guide. The story intrigued Conwell so much, with its ageless moral,
that he subsequently used the theme as a basis for his many speeches.
According to the story, as told by the guide, while Conwell was
travelling down the Tigris and Euphrates rivers with a party of
English travelers, there was a farmer, Ali Hafed, from ancient
Persia now known as Iran. Ali Hafed was very wealthy. He owned
a very large farm with orchards, grain-fields, and gardens. He
was a wealthy and contented man.
One day, a Buddhist priest visited Ali Hafed. During the conversation,
this wise priest from the East told Hafed about diamonds. The
priest told Ali Hafed that if he had one diamond the size of his
thumb, he could purchase the county, and if he had a mine of diamonds
he could place his children upon thrones through the influence
of their great wealth. Ali Hafed heard all about diamonds, and
how much they were worth. Though Hafed's circumstances hadn't
changed, he went to his bed that night a poor and discontented
man. He was poor because he was discontented, and discontented
because he now feared that he was poor.
Ali Hafed decided that he wanted a diamond mine, and the next
day he rushed to see the priest and asked where he could find
diamonds. He explained to the priest that he wanted to be immensely
rich. Hafed sold his farm, collected the money, left his family
with a neighbour and went off in search of diamonds.
Hafed wandered around Palestine and Europe until he ran out of
money. He was in rags, feeling wretched and now truly poor. He
stood on the shore of a bay in Barcelona, Spain and when a great
tidal wave came rolling in, he threw himself in, never to rise
Meanwhile back at the farm, one day the new owner picked up an
unusual rock about the size of an egg and placed it on his mantle.
A few days later, the same old priest visited the farm and immediately
realized that the unusual rock was indeed a diamond. The priest
and the new owner rushed outside to the place where the owner
found the unusual rock. That day, they discovered the diamond
mines of Golconda.
Al Hafed had been standing on his own "Acres of Diamonds"
until he sold his farm.
In "Acres Of Diamonds," Conwell relates countless stories
of people who went in search of what they already had. For example,
a farmer in Pennsylvania sold his farm for $833 and went to work
for his cousin in Canada, collecting oil. Shortly after, the man
who purchased the farm found oil worth millions of dollars.
Five Common Sense Ideas
- Each of us is right in the middle of our own "Acre of
Diamonds", if only we would realize it and develop the
ground we are standing on before charging off in search of greener
- Opportunity does not just come along - it is there all the
time - we just have to see it
- In life, when we go searching for "something," we
should know what that "something" looks, smells and
tastes like so that we can recognize it when we find it
- The grass isn't always greener on the other side
- Before we give up what we already have, make sure that what
we're getting is better than what we already have
Your diamonds are not in far-away mountains or in distant seas;
they are usually in your own back yard if you will take the time
to look for them."
December's Book List
Acres of Diamond by Russell Conwell