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Search in your own backyard first
A prosperous Persian farmer named Al Hafed was lured by the stories of a Buddhist priest to desert his fruitful lands to search for immense wealth in far away diamond fields.
Al Hafed deserted his wife, family and home and roamed Africa, the Middle East and Europe. He quickly lost his health and wealth, and he died far from home, an old and disillusioned pauper.
Not long after his death, acres of fabulous diamonds were found on Al Hafed's own land, in his own backyard.
The entire story of Al Hafed was told thousands of times in the late 19th and early 20th century by Russell Conwell. He toured the United States and delivered his famous speech titled "Acres of Diamonds".
By the time of his death, in 1925, Conwell had delivered the lecture more than 6,000 times.
In his speech Conwell said "Al Hafed heard all about diamonds and how much they were worth, and went to his bed that night a poor man -- not that he had lost anything, but poor because he was discontented and discontented because he thought he was poor. He said: 'I want a mine of diamonds!' So he lay awake all night, and early in the morning sought out the priest. "
"Now I know from experience that a priest when awakened early in the morning is cross. He awoke that priest out of his dreams and said to him, 'Will you tell me where I can find diamonds?' The priest said, 'Diamonds? What do you want with diamonds?' 'I want to be immensely rich,' said Al Hafed, 'but I don't know where to go.' 'Well,' said the priest, 'if you will find a river that runs over white sand between high mountains, in those sands you will always see diamonds.' 'Do you really believe that there is such a river?' 'Plenty of them, plenty of them; all you have to do is just go and find them, then you have them.' Al Hafed said, 'I will go.' So he sold his farm, collected his money at interest, left his family in charge of a neighbor, and away he went in search of diamonds. "
"He began very properly, to my mind, at the Mountains of the Moon. Afterwards he went around into Palestine, then wandered on into Europe, and at last, when his money was all spent, and he was in rags, wretchedness and poverty, he stood on the shore of that bay in Barcelona, Spain, when a tidal wave came rolling in through the Pillars of Hercules and the poor, afflicted, suffering man could not resist the awful temptation to cast himself into that incoming tide, and he sank beneath its foaming crest, never to rise in this life again. "
"When that old guide had told me that very sad story, he stopped the camel I was riding and went back to fix the baggage on one of the other camels, and I remember thinking to myself, 'Why did he reserve that for his particular friends?' There seemed to be no beginning, middle or end -- nothing to it. That was the first story I ever heard told or read in which the hero was killed in the first chapter. I had but one chapter of that story and the hero was dead."
"WHEN the guide came back and took up the halter of my camel again, he went right on with the same story. He said that Al Hafed's successor led his camel out into the garden to drink, and as that camel put its nose down into the clear water of the garden brook Al Hafed's successor noticed a curious flash of light from the sands of the shallow stream, and reaching in he pulled out a black stone having an eye of light that reflected all the colors of the rainbow, and he took that curious pebble into the house and left it on the mantel, then went on his way and forgot all about it."
"A few days after that, this same old priest who told Al Hafed how diamonds were made, came in to visit his successor, when he saw that flash of light from the mantel. He rushed up and said, 'Here is a diamond -- here is a diamond! Has Al Hafed returned?' 'No, no; Al Hafed has not returned and that is not a diamond; that is nothing but a stone; we found it right out here in our garden.' 'But I know a diamond when I see it,' said he; 'that is a diamond!'"
"Then together they rushed to the garden and stirred up the white sands with their fingers and found other more beautiful, more valuable diamonds than the first, and thus, said the guide to me, were discovered the diamond mines of Golconda, the most magnificent diamond mines in all the history of mankind, exceeding the Kimberley in its value. The great Kohinoor diamond in England's crown jewels and the largest crown diamond on earth in Russia's crown jewels, ..."
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