The famous motivational Victorian lecturer Russell H. Conwell wrote the essay Acres of Diamonds. This story has inspired me and many other people. Russell H. Conwell delivered this story more than 6,000 times between 1877 and 1925. He was a minister and a former newspaper correspondent.
The story is about the life of a Persian farmer named Ali Hafed who sold his farm and decided to travel the world. Ali left his family to find his fortune. Ali looked everywhere for diamonds and could not find any. He eventually took his own life as a homeless pauper. The farm he sold was lovingly cared for by the new owner. He was grateful for every inch of dirt and blade of grass. The new owner had a wonderful family that supported and loved one another. While the new owner was caring for his land he crossed his stream and noticed a flash of bright blue and red light on the bottom of the stream. Weeks later a visitor noticed the brilliant rock that sat in the farmer’s living room and asked the farmer about it. He told the farmer he believed the rock was a diamond. The visitor was right about the rock, which turned out to be one of the world’s largest diamonds. The simple farmer became wealthy beyond his dreams because of his discovery right in his own backyard of acres of diamonds.
We all have acres of diamonds in our lives waiting to be discovered and mined. One of my diamonds is Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church. I discovered this diamond in my backyard over 25 years ago. Will GPUC be one of your diamonds? Will you look for the opportunities for personal success, happiness and inspiration at GPUC? Will you make new friends and share GPUC with your family? It really is as close as your own backyard.
“Your diamonds are not in far distant mountains or in yonder seas; they are in your own backyard, if you but dig for them.” –Russell H. Conwell
On Sunday, April 24, 2016 , GPUC will be celebrating Earth Day. We will be looking at our seventh principle: "Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part." I was looking for a book for our students and came across "The Curious Garden" by Peter Brown. From the jacket of the book it reads; "One day , a curious boy named Liam is out exploring his drab, gray city when he comes across a struggling garden. He decides to help the plants grow, never imagining what he is starting. As time passes, the garden takes on a life of its own and spreads across the city, changing everything in its path. Bit by bit, the city is transformed, becoming a lush, green world." What a beautiful magical story about a boy's dream. It helps us have hope that the efforts of one small boy could help change the world.
Maybe our students can't all start a garden but there are so many other activities that you as parents can teach them to help change the world. Some ideas are to use reusable containers and bags, try home composting, teach your children about Fair Trade sources, ride your bikes to school and church and teach your children how to buy food in bulk. You could also be like Liam and plant a garden that would spread through your community!
This year marks the 46th anniversary of Earth Day. We at GPUC and my own family are taking action to make our planet a viable place for all people to live now and into the future.