ACRES OF DIAMONDS – By Russell Conwell
I recently completed reading a book by Russell H. Conwell titled Acres of Diamond. This is a book which was written by a man of many achievements. The author believes that there are opportunities where we are. It is upon us to open our eyes and take advantage of those opportunities.
Acres of Diamond is a story about a man who sold his land where he had stayed for decades. He left his wife and children under the care of his neighbor to go search for diamonds. He moved from one country to another looking for those diamonds. Finally, his money got exhausted and died a poor man. Meanwhile, back at home the man who bought his land one day discovered one of the largest diamonds in the world at the man’s backyard.
Russell is a man who was a great believer in education. He believed that everyone should be provided with an opportunity to receive education. He actually made education available even to his servants. He was so different. Here at home most families with servants in the form of house boys and maids never avail the opportunity of education to them. It is so sad.
Russell points out to us that even the Bible supports the idea of advancing and success. It is a noble adventure.
Russell Conwell was very entrepreneur. He was always looking for ways to serve people. He worked as a lawyer, church Minister, public speaker, University founder and president and a manager of two hospitals (Samaritan).
Most of his enterprises started small. For instance, Samaritan Hospital was started as a small enterprise but grew to a huge hospital with time. At the time the book was published Russell reported that hospital has 170 beds in its wards and operating rooms. By 1915, a total of 29,301 patients had been treated.
Russel Conwell was a superman. He was able to organize his time and dedicate great strength and stamina to manage all his businesses.
Russell Conwell reminds us money is not the ‘root of evil.” We can do more good with money than without it. Money printed Bibles, money pays our pastors, priests and Sheiks. Money is good depending on how we use it. Even the evangelists who preach that money is evil do so until the basket for tithe collection goes around then you realize money is so good.
Russel Conwell reminds us of the need to love where we have come from, love our work, love your family. It does not matter that your village is rugged or it has poor roads. That is what defines. Give back to that place you call home.
How often do we hear stories of men and women who left home decades ago and never returned? So often. Why do people despise and hate their home places so much? It is a mystery.
Russel had a great memory for people’s faces and names. Are you able to remember people 10 years down the line? This is important for us. I know those of us who live in cities we find it difficult to even know the names of our neighbors.
One month ago, I went to condole with a believed family here in Nairobi. As we sat down talking with friends from my village, one person shared a story about his immediate neighbor who lived in an estate for 10 years without talking with her neighbors. How is that possible? There are people who ignore everyone in a flat or plot.
If something bad happens to such people, they have no one to run to. Learn to talk to people. Know where they come from, what they do and even ask how you can be of help to them.
One day when Russell was delivering his lecture on the fact that there are opportunities everywhere, one person said no. He had lived in his town doing business and for 20 years he made just $1,000. So Russell asked him if he knows his neighbors around the corners, he said, no.
Business is about networking. It’s all about relationships. If you can reach out to millions of people with a message about the products that they real want, then you can become a millionaire or billionaire.
Russell Conwell advises us that we should never ever give up. Determination is the key to success. Once you set about something, never STOP until you succeed. Do not allow even criticism to stop you in your tracks.
Russell gives an example of huge diamond that he started wearing. It was oversize and the members of his congregation criticized him. He never spoke or defended his actions and above all never stopped wearing that ring. People criticized until they grew tired.
After several years, he suddenly stopped wearing the huge diamond ring. His critics said that finally Russell has listened. Later on, he revealed that he had received the ring from one of his deacons. He only wore the ring not to hurt the deacon. He just stopped wearing it after the deacon died.
That is just an overview of the book “Acres of Diamonds.” Get a copy and read more on how to succeed without moving away from home.