It was the summer of 1988. I was seventeen and just finished reading the last page of the book by OG Mandino, The Greatest Miracle in the World and set blue covered paperback down on my nightstand. In addition to Og Mandino’s other books, The Choice and The Greatest Salesman in the World this book, The Greatest Miracle in the World, had just become another one of the twenty books to make it on my “Top Five” list.
For me, it is always a bittersweet experience to finish a good book. Through the turning of every page, I feel like I are closing in on the finish line. The pages in front of me become thinner and the pages behind me swell as they store the places you’ve already been. The straw I was looking through expands ever so slightly as each page, each paragraph and each word adds color and context, until I finish…finally seeing the masterpiece in its entirety.
And yet, there is also a pang of sadness for the simple reason that I reached “The End.” My friend has left. The ride is over. The anticipation is gone. The questions are answered. There seems to be a small moment of hesitation where I don’t quite know what to do with myself. The Greatest Miracle in the World was NOT one of those books for me.
I knew what I was going to do, and the ride was just beginning.
Like Simon Potter, the main character in Og’s book, I was determined to become a “Ragpicker of People.”
I was so moved by the book, I did something I had never done before. I wrote the author. I wrote Og Mandino a letter to thank him for his effort and let him know how profoundly touched I was. He wrote me back and we corresponded four or five times before he died in 1996. I realize now, that the same old typewriter he used to write my letters was the same typewriter he plunked to write his best selling books (Over 50 million copies sold and translated into 27 different languages). Later, I also learned that Og wrote back EVERYONE who ever wrote him and that I was not the only one especially touched by The Greatest Miracle in the World.
Although Og Mandino wrote 21 books and The Greatest Miracle, was NOT his best seller, he shared that he had received more letters from his readers regarding The Greatest Miracle in the World, than ALL of his other books combined!
If you are one of those people who has been touched by Og Mandino or The Greatest Miracle in the World, I ask you to join me to by registering as a Ragpicker today.
I am surprised when I meet others who are familiar with Og Mandino but are NOT familiar with his book, The Greatest Miracle in the World. And…I am sad when very few of the people I talk to under the age of 40 have ever even heard of Og Mandino or read any of his books. As a portion of every purchase from Ragpicker.org supports our cause, I hope you will buy your Og Mandino books here and help me flood the next generation with his books.
In a letter I wrote in 1990, I told him how I had given away almost 2,000 Ragpicker Amulets that summer and he encouraged me to give more. Since that time, I have given away almost 50,000 Ragpicker Amulets. He continued to encourage me. This website, www.ragpicker.org is my effort to keep giving them away and to organize the “army of Ragpickers” Og Mandino envisioned when he wrote:
“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.”
Ragpicker.org was created to honor Og Mandino and to provide a place for those touched by him to act on the principles he taught. I invite you to share your experiences here and to join others in Ragpicker “projects” that are too large for anyone to handle alone. Share your ideas on how to be a better Ragpicker about a time when you needed a Ragpicker yourself and someone was there for you.
It’s time to organize ourselves…to start a movement…to swell the Ragpicker ranks and see what influence for good we can be in the world.
I felt compelled to create this site…I hope you feel compelled to join us.
Will you join us?
Have you read The Greatest Miracle in the World or any other books by Og Mandino? If so, share your comment!
You can purchase Og Mandino’s books at Ragpicker.org – A portions of every purchase supports adults with disabilites and projects submitted by people like you to Ragpicker.org.
Register as a Ragpicker today at:
Please share with us how Og Mandino has inspired you.