Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Acres of Diamonds

Legend has it a young farmer and his family enjoyed a great life in Africa.  He had his health, a wonderful family, good friends, enough food and a life he enjoyed. 

One day a village elder stopped by his house to chat.  As they spoke, the elder talked about the wonders of diamonds; the power and riches they brought to any man who possessed them.  "Why, if you had only one diamond no bigger than the size of my thumb," the elder said, "you could buy this entire village. And if you had a diamond the size of my fist, you could own this country."

That night after the village elder left him, the young farmer tossed and turned in bed thinking of diamonds. When he awoke the next morning, he was sad because he didn't have any diamonds. Before the day was over, he made arrangements to sell his farm and send his family to live with relatives. When everything was settled, the next day he left his farm to go in search for diamonds.

He traveled all over south Africa - but found none; then to north Africa and still none.  Eventually he sailed to southern Europe, but no matter where he went - Italy, Greece, Spain - he found none. While in Spain, he found himself emotionally, physically and financially drained. 

So disheartened with how he wasted his wonderful life and his life-long savings, he decided the best thing to do was to climb a high mountain and jump into the Barcelona River, which he did.

The same day the young farmer committed suicide, the  man who bought his farm back in Africa was out watering his herd of cattle.  As the cows stood drinking in a small stream that ran through the farm, 
the rays of the early morning sun were shining on a stone on the west side of the shore. The stone sparkled like a rainbow.  Impressed by its look, the new farmer waded over and picked up the large rock. This stone was so beautiful he thought it would look perfect on the fireplace mantle. So when he arrived back home, he placed it on his mantle and smiled.

Later that evening the village elder stopped by to talk with the new farmer.  While in the house, the elder noticed the sparkling stone on the mantle.  He immediately asked if the old owner had returned.  "No, why do you ask?"

The elder replied, "Because of that beautiful diamond you have on your mantle."

The new farmer laughed and said, "You must be mistaken. That's not a diamond; its just a pretty stone I found along the  stream this morning. Come, I'll show you there are lots of stones just like this."  Together they went down to the stream and picked up dozens of stones lying on the ground. 

The Village elder said, "I can recognize a diamond  anytime I see one."  Then he asked if he could send a few samples to the big city for analysis. When the gemologist's report came back a few weeks later, it stated all the stones sent to him were high grade diamonds.

It turns out the new farmer purchased a farm littered with  diamonds - in fact acres of diamonds.  It was on this farm in the Mbuji-Mayi District of Zaire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, that the Millenium Start - the largest diamond ever was discovered.

Always remember that there are diamonds all around - opportunities that can change our lives; however, most of us don't always recognize them.