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Though only a boy of 12, Silas Harper exhibited all the characteristics that ingratiated his elders. It was hard not to like the kid — cheerful, enthusiastic, diligent, helpful — your typical boy scout type.

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His family eked out a meager existence on a less than desirable piece of property on the outskirts of town. The rocky outcrops on the small Arkansas farm did not bode well for wheat or corn, so the Harpers did what they could with some livestock and doing odd jobs for the other families in town. Silas, as always, did more than his share to help with the chores.

As he grew into adulthood, his ambitions and charm grew too. Some thought he would become a banker or lawyer. But Silas had bigger dreams than that. "My dad's farm is a nice place, but what would I do with that property?" he asked friends.

He didn't get any arguments. The farm was hardly workable and for all intents and purposes was good for nothing.

By the time he was 19, Silas had saved enough money to board the train and head west to seek his fame and fortune. He set up an import business in San Francisco, and was not only well received by the business community there, but also achieved success in a relatively short time.

Colleagues liked and trusted him. It seemed that luck was on his side, until several years later when he stood on the street and cried while he watched a fire destroy his business. Everything he had worked for had gone up in smoke.

The Worst Day of My Life

But nothing and no one would ever stand in his way. "I must say that I thought that was the worst day of my life," Silas later recalled, "but that wasn't the only setback I experienced as destiny handed me my fate." Indeed, Silas spent the next forty years spanning the globe, living in exotic places, and putting deals together. However, he was overtaken with illness, dishonest business partners, and other misfortunes.

He sought peace and contentment by eventually finding his way back home. The old homestead had been boarded up for many years, and the farmhouse was in desperate need of repair. But Silas enjoyed the company of his old friends, and he invested what he had to fix the place up.

One spring day, Silas was relaxing in his rocking chair on the back porch of the old farmhouse. It was a nice day. But something was about to happen that would make it very special.

A glint of sunlight had caught his eye. It caused him to look up and search the rocky field. Silas caught the spot in the field where the ray of light had come from. He got up, walked over to the spot, knelt down, and saw something.

"At that point," he said, "I tried to look more closely. My eyesight hadn't been the best, so I got my spectacles out. I can't say I know one rock from another, but I've been around enough to think I knew what I was looking at."

Within a week, geologists from a state university had confirmed his find. Silas was looking at a diamond. But that's not all. They had surveyed his property and discovered the place was littered with diamonds — so many in fact, that Silas was now sitting on the largest diamond field in North America.

That worthless piece of rock infested earth — the same one that Silas had forsaken decades before for opportunity in distant lands — turned out to be one of the most valuable pieces of real estate anywhere.

If Silas was bitter before, he could only kick himself now. "If I had only known," he told friends, "that my riches were not only right in front of me, but given to me early, I would have lived my life very differently."

You Already Have the Key

As a wealthy celebrity, Silas spent the remaining years of his life going to schools and telling students the lessons he learned. They listened intently.

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"Don't think for a minute that what you are looking for is down that track, or over the next hill. Don't be fooled into thinking that someone else has what you want. Yes, strive for what you seek. Work hard and honestly for what you want. But don't blind yourself to what you can find in front of you right now! You already have the key to unlock the treasures.

"It took me a lifetime to discover the secret I am telling you now. Please don't misunderstand. I'm not telling you to go to the trouble of running outside with a shovel. No, it's much easier than that. You don't even have to get your hands dirty!

"The trick to finding your treasure involves opening your eyes, and opening your heart. Look in front of you, and within you. Some of you are afraid to look because you have grown comfortable struggling with troubles you've come to expect.

"Believe me when I tell you that you have been given everything you need. You already own the gifts you seek. Don't spend your lifetime seeking your happiness, when in reality, you already have the means to it.

"Everyone is good at something, and you'll come to find out that the more you share your treasures, the shinier they get, and the more valuable they become. We can become rich beyond imagination when we discover that we are all sparkling jewels."

~ By Lee Simonson Publisher,

Illustrations: Ms. Lyn Kriegler Elliott

- Heart2Heart Team

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Vol 6 Issue 04 - APRIL 2008
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