“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” – Kahlil Gibran
Most of us are vaguely familiar with how diamonds are formed. But a brief refresher course for me reinforced why they are deemed so precious. First though, to destroy one common myth – diamonds are not formed from coal.
Coal rarely, if ever, has played a role in their formation. That is simply because their formation predates plants, which are the main ingredient for the formation of coal. Now that we have dispensed with that “old wives’ tale,” we can cut to the nitty gritty facts.
Most diamonds are hundreds of millions of years old, with many dating back one to three billion years. They were embedded within the Earth’s crust at a depth of roughly 150-200 kilometers, and born under conditions of intense heat and pressure that caused carbon atoms to crystallize, thus forming diamonds.
This entire, arduous process, involving time and the harshest of conditions is what contributes to their value. And their value depends on a number of variables, as they are graded upon their cut and clarity. Add in sentiment, as well as size, and there you have it. “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” from Marilyn Monroe, to Elizabeth Taylor, to any of us common folk, lucky enough to be the recipient of this testament of love.
Part of the value of diamonds rests in the processes that created them. Large, small, with varying degrees of clarity, they nonetheless underwent growing pains to arrive at their ultimate state. So too, we mere mortals. Our scars are not always visible to the naked eye. Hidden disabilities do not parade the physical or emotional weight we carry.
Put us on a scale, and our sum total does not begin to represent our gravitas, which should make all of us that much more appreciative and less judgmental of each other. How many roads have we all walked, limped or wheeled ourselves down to get to where we’re going? How often do we zoom by a slower moving vehicle not realizing that the slower driver is in unfamiliar territory? Or we judge another speedster as having a callous disregard of others, when, in fact, they are dealing with a family emergency. We stand in a store checkout line, yea long, while a woman fumbles for the right credit card, meanwhile worrying if she can afford the minimum balance on the next bill.
We are, each and every one of us, diamonds in the rough, hewn of circumstances in many cases, not of our own making. How about we try withholding second guessing others in this new year, 2022. If we really knew the extent of suffering many of us have endured to become who we are today, we would realize we are all worth far more than any appraiser could determine, by carat or cut. I would go one step further to contend most of us are a cut above anything visible to the naked eye.
We are all diamonds in the rough, glittering specimens sculpted by the challenges life has thrown our way.
When we accept that our value far exceeds what others may perceive, we are able to extend that same appreciation toward others. Diamonds in the rough, all.
Lynne Farrell Abrams has a bachelor’s degree in communication. She has been a writer and editor, an adult education writing instructor, and a substance abuse counselor. A resident of Citrus County for over eleven years, Lynne is now happily retired.
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