Og Mandino is the father and founder of the concept of being a "Ragpicker of people" through his creation of a character named Simon Potter. Below are some of select quotes from his book, The Greatest Miracle in the World, which will help you better understand the why this book inspired so many people to become Ragpickers. In fact, Og later stated that he received more mail regarding "The Greatest Miracle" than ALL of his other works combined!
The main part of his book is known as "The God Memorandum” which is too lengthy to list here but you it can be read in its entirety in "The Greatest Miracle," or can be purchased right here at Ragpicker.org.
Inspiration from Og through his character Simon Potter:
"We are here to help one another."
"To our friendship, may it be long and filled with good."
"I truly believe that He has sent, to every generation, special people."
"A Ragpicker is one who picks up rags and other waste materials from the streets and junk heaps to earn a livelihood. However, I am not that sort of Ragpicker. I seek more valuable materials than old newspapers and beer cans. I search out waste materials of the human kind, people who have been discarded by others, or even themselves, people who still have great potential but have lost their self-esteem and their desire for a better life."
"When I find them, I try to change their lives for the better, give them a new sense of hope and direction, and help them return from their living death."
"Most of us build prisons for ourselves and after we occupy them for a period of time, we become accustomed to their walls and accept the false premise that we are incarcerated for life."
"I am not playing God. What you will learn, sooner or later, is that God very often plays man. God will do nothing without man and whenever He works a miracle, it is always done through man."
"Actually, you see, it was a selfish decision because the feeling that went through me…was one I had not known for many years. It is the feeling that only comes when one has helped another with no thought of personal gain."
"Still we Ragpickers are very short-handed. There is also a population explosion on humanities junk piles, and not enough of us to do the job properly."
"When I find someone who needs help I first try to convince him, or her, that there are still two who care: God…and me. One in heaven…and one on earth."
"I pull these people from their own living hells. They have already deserted this life in their minds. They are positive that they can do nothing to help themselves so they are willing grasp at any hand that reaches out to them. It is a hand of hope."
"It is time that I make the supreme effort to multiply myself so that my work can continue after I am no longer here."
"You have great potential. You are a rare talent. You must not be wasted. I shall see that you are not!"
"Those who eventually became the best Ragpickers were individuals like myself, who had done time on junk heaps and walked away from their own cemetery for the living."
"God had never placed any of us in a hole from which we could not grow. And, if we had locker ourselves in a prison of failure and self-pity, we were the only jailers…we had the only key to our freedom."
"All of us know that we are better than we are."
"And do not think of only one candle when you seek to overcome the blackness of despair. If everyone lit a candle we could turn the darkest night into the brightest day."
"…There are times when teachers must be taught, doctors must be cured, lawyers must be defended, comedians must be amused, and even Ragpickers must be loved."
"Find someone who, like yourself, needs help. Give them two things, the Ragpickers secret amulet…and "The God Memorandum." And one more thing to give…LOVE."
"I have a vision wherein I can see thousands upon thousands wearing our Ragpicker’s Amulets. People will encounter each other in the marketplace, on the street, in their places of worship, in their public conveyances, in their schools and on their job and they will look upon each others insignificant pin and rag and smile at their brothers and sisters… for each will know that the other is emarked on the same mission, the same dream, with a common purpose…to change their own life for the better and thus, joined together, change the world."
"The five laws of happiness and success:
Count your blessings.
Proclaim your rarity.
Go another mile.
Use wisely your power of choice.
And one more, to fulfill the other four. Do all things with love...love for yourself, love for all others…and love for God."