Bilingual commentary: Diamonds Beneath Our Feet

August 17, 2017
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By David Magallanes / Guest contributor

David Magallanes

Russell Conwell (1843 – 1925) was a gifted American. He achieved great success despite his humble beginnings as the son of Massachusetts farmers. Among his many other endeavors, he was a Baptist preacher and an effective orator. So effective, in fact, that he was able to deliver one particular speech, Acres of Diamonds, over six thousand times around the world.

There must have been something about that speech that held people’s interest and fascination. The inspiration for the speech, as told by Conwell, originated in 1869 in the Middle East, where an “Arab guide,” hired in Baghdad, told a story as he led Conwell atop a camel along the Tigris River.

The story is about a Buddhist priest who told a Persian farmer, Al Hafed, that diamonds are the highest form of God’s mineral creation. Likewise, he said, women are the highest form of all of God’s creatures, which explains their mutual allure. Men, take note.

Al Hafed went to sleep restlessly and awoke anxiously and desirous of possessing diamonds and all the privileges and riches that they bestow upon their owners. He sold his property and all that he had and struck out to seek the diamonds that he craved for himself.

He never found them. But the new owner of his property discovered not only diamonds, but an entire diamond mine underneath his feet, where Al Hafed had once lived!

The lesson is obvious. Conwell used the story as a launching point to his premise: that we have no need to seek wealth outside of where we are, right now. That we are standing over “acres of diamonds” and are not even aware of it! Whether or not we learn how to mine and polish those diamonds is entirely up to each of us. “Diamonds” represent personal fulfillment in our lives, whatever form that takes.

In other words, “the kingdom” indeed is within us. It’s simply a matter of recognizing that fact and acting accordingly if we want to experience it.

— David Magallanes is a writer, speaker and professor of mathematics.

***

Diamantes Debajo de Nuestros Pies

Por David Magallanes / Columnista invitado

Russell Conwell (1843 – 1925) era un americano dotado. Alcanzó gran éxito a pesar de sus humildes comienzos como hijo de agricultores del estado de Massachusetts. Entre sus muchos otros esfuerzos, él era predicador bautista y un orador eficaz. Tan efectivo, de hecho, que pudo presentar un discurso en particular, Acres of Diamonds (Hectáreas de Diamantes), más de seis mil veces en todo el mundo.

Debe haber habido algo especial en ese discurso que sostuvo el interés y la fascinación de la gente. La inspiración para el discurso, según Conwell, se originó en 1869 en el Oriente Medio, donde un “guía árabe”, contratado en Bagdad, contó una historia mientras dirigía un camello con Conwell encima a lo largo del río Tigris.

Se nos cuenta que un sacerdote budista le dijo a un agricultor persa, Al Hafed, que los diamantes son la forma más alta de la creación del mundo mineral de parte de Dios. Del mismo modo, dijo, las mujeres son la forma más elevada de todas las criaturas de Dios, lo cual explica su atracción mutua. Hombres, fíjense bien.

Al Hafed se durmió inquieto y despertó ansioso y deseoso de poseer diamantes y todos los privilegios y riquezas que otorgaron a sus dueños. Vendió su propiedad y todo lo que tenía y salió sin más ni más a buscar los diamantes que anhelaba para sí mismo.

Nunca los encontró. Pero el nuevo propietario descubrió no sólo diamantes, sino una mina entera de diamantes debajo de sus pies, donde Al Hafed había vivido antes!

La lección es obvia. Conwell utilizó la historia como un punto de partida a su premisa: que no tenemos la necesidad de salir de dónde estemos para encontrar riquezas. Que estamos de pie sobre “hectáreas de diamantes” y ni siquiera estamos conscientes de ello! Aprendamos o no a extraer y pulir esos diamantes depende enteramente de cada uno de nosotros. Los “diamantes” representan la realización personal, en cualquier forma que sea.

En otras palabras, “el reino” de hecho está dentro de cada uno de nosotros. Es simplemente cuestión de reconocer ese hecho y actuar como corresponda si de verdad deseamos experimentarlo.

— David Magallanes es un escritor, orador y profesor de matemáticas.

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