This is the second part of a beautiful and powerful piece of literature that Og Mandino wrote in his famous book: “The greatest miracle in the world”. Navigate through it with the links at the bottom of the post.
Let us take inventory. Let us, first, call a roll of your handicaps. For how can I ask you to build a new life lest you have the tools?
Are you blind? Does the sun rise and fall without your witness?
No. You can see … and the hundred million receptors I have placed in your eyes enable you to enjoy the magic of a leaf, a snowflake, a pond, an eagle, a child, a cloud, a star, a rose, a rainbow … and the look of love. Count one blessing.
Are you deaf? Can a baby laugh or cry without your attention?
No. You can hear … and the twenty-four thousand fibers I have built in each of your ears vibrate to the wind in the trees, the tides on the rocks, the majesty of an opera, a robin’s plea, children at play … and the words I love you. Count another blessing.
Are you mute? Do your lips move and bring forth only spittle?
No. You can speak … as can no other of my creatures, and your words can calm the angry, uplift the despondent, goad the quitter, cheer the unhappy, warm the lonely, praise the worthy, encourage the defeated, teach the ignorant … and say I love you. Count another blessing.
Are you paralyzed? Does your helpless form despoil the land?
No. You can move. You are not a tree condemned to a small plot while the wind and world abuses you. You can stretch and run and dance and work, for within you I have designed five hundred muscles, two hundred bones, and seven miles of nerve fiber all synchronized by me to do your bidding. Count another blessing.
Are you unloved and unloving? Does loneliness engulf you, night and day?
No. No more. For now you know love’s secret, that to receive love it must be given with no thought of its return. To love for fulfillment, satisfaction, or pride is no love. Love is a gift on which no return is demanded. Now you know that to love unselfishly is its own reward. And even should love not be returned it is not lost, for love not reciprocated will flow back to you and soften and purify your heart. Count another blessing. Count twice.
Is your heart stricken? Does it leak and strain to maintain your life?
No. Your heart is strong. Touch your chest and feel its rhythm, pulsating, hour after hour, day and night, thirty-six million beats each year, year after year, asleep or awake, pumping your blood through more than sixty thousand miles of veins, arteries, and tubing … pumping more than six hundred thousand gallons each year. Man has never created such a machine. Count another blessing.
Are you diseased of skin? Do people turn in horror when you approach?
No. Your skin is clear and a marvel of creation, needing only that you tend it with soap and oil and brush and care. In time all steels will tarnish and rust, but not your skin. Eventually the strongest of metals will wear, with use, but not that layer that I have constructed around you. Constantly it renews itself, old cells replaced by new, just as the old you is now replaced by the new. Count another blessing.
Are your lungs befouled? Does your breath of life struggle to enter your body?
No. Your portholes to life support you even in the vilest of environments of your own making, and they labor always to filter life-giving oxygen through six hundred million pockets of folded flesh while they rid your body of gaseous wastes. Count another blessing.
Is your blood poisoned? Is it diluted with water and pus?
No. Within your five quarts of blood are twenty-two trillion blood cells and within each cell are millions of molecules and within each molecule is an atom oscillating at more than ten million times each second. Each second, two million of your blood cells die to be replaced by two million more in a resurrection that has continued since your first birth. As it has always been inside, so now it is on your outside. Count another blessing.
Are you feeble of mind? Can you no longer think for yourself?
No. Your brain is the most complex structure in the universe. I know. Within its three pounds are thirteen billion nerve cells, more than three times as many cells as there are people on your earth. To help you file away every perception, every sound, every taste, every smell, every action you have experienced since the day of your birth, I have implanted, within your cells, more than one thousand billion billion protein molecules. Every incident in your life is there waiting only your recall. And, to assist your brain in the control of your body I have dispersed, throughout your form, four million pain-sensitive structures, five hundred thousand touch detectors, and more than two hundred thousand temperature detectors. No nation’s gold is better protected than you. None of your ancient wonders are greater than you.
You are my finest creation.
Within you is enough atomic energy to destroy any of the world’s great cities … and rebuild it.
Are you poor? Is there no gold or silver in your purse?
No. You are rich! Together we have just counted your wealth. Study the list. Count them again. Tally your assets!
Why have you betrayed yourself? Why have you cried that all the blessings of humanity were removed from you? Why did you deceive yourself that you were powerless to change your life? Are you without talent, senses, abilities, pleasures, instincts, sensations, and pride? Are you without hope? Why do you cringe in the shadows, a giant defeated, awaiting only sympathetic transport into the welcome void and dampness of hell?
You have so much. Your blessings overflow your cup … and you have been unmindful of them, like a child spoiled in luxury, since I have bestowed them upon you with generosity and regularity.
What rich man, old and sick, feeble and helpless, would not exchange all the gold in his vault for the blessings you have treated so lightly.
Know then the first secret to happiness and success – that you possess, even now, every blessing necessary to achieve great glory. They are your treasure, your tools with which to build, starting today, the foundation for a new and better life.
Therefore, I say unto you, count your blessings and know that you already are my greatest creation. This is the first law you must obey in order to perform the greatest miracle in the world, the return of your humanity from living death.
And be grateful for your lessons learned in poverty. For he is not poor who has little; only he that desires much … and true security lies not in the things one has but in the things one can do without.
Where are the handicaps that produced your failure? They existed only in your mind.
Count your blessings.
And the second law is like unto the first. Proclaim your rarity.
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