Of Coals and Diamonds

coaldiamondCoals are coals and diamonds are diamonds. They may have the same basic ingredient but they are far from being the same. You cannot expect coals to become diamonds nor diamonds to become coals.

Don’t get me wrong, there is no need for coals to be diamonds, they are good as they are. With their abundance, they get the machinery going and they fuel the industries.

I am reminded lately that what is true for coals and diamonds maybe true with people. Sometimes people have the romantic notion that coals should eventually graduate to becoming diamonds. I used to share that notion… Until lately.

Lately I realized that some of the coals I met are not diamonds in the rough. No amount of cutting and piling will make them look any close to being diamonds, and to push them to become one just adds to their stress because while they may be inspired by the thought of becoming diamonds, they just don’t have what it takes to become one. Some of them are just plain uninterested.

As a matter of lesson I realized I need to distinguish between a coal and a diamond in the rough… And let coals be coals.



  1. You made me think Ed. It’s been my silent mission to give people the opportunity to change their way of life, be productive and contribute to society and mankind –because I was once a coal. I hire people that are not really qualified, then I motivate and train them. It may not be a wise HR decision really– ‘coz I’ve experienced how insanely difficult it can be. Sometimes I feel hopeless over some coals who are not in anyway showing interest to be diamonds.

    It takes intense amount of heat and pressure miles underneath the earth’s crust over a period of thousand even million years for carbon to form into diamonds. I’d say that if an organization do not have enough fuel to burn such an enormous amount of heat and intense pressure the only wise choice really is to pick the diamonds “and let the coals be coals”.

    • I disagree Owen, you were never a coal. You were what they call a “diamond in the rough”. People like you shine when polished. I mean look at you know. You have become one precious diamond.

      I learned the hard way that one can’t make diamonds, you find them in their rough state and then you shape them to achieve their full potential. When you do the same to coals, the break apart.

  2. In business perspective, I tend to agree Ed. It may take a lifetime for some to realize that they can indeed be diamonds. Sadly, the organization they belong to can’t wait forever for them to make this realization. Though in the spiritual realm, I’d still like to believe that we are all designed to succeed. If only we can break through the self-imposed limitations and destructive programming that our experience and circumstances taught us.

    • If one is happy being a coal, one does not need to be a diamond. Who is to say that being a diamond is better than being a coal? At the end of the day, it’s all about being happy about who you are and what you have.

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