Augustine "Og" Mandino II (December 12, 1923 – September 3, 1996) was an American author. He wrote the bestselling book The Greatest Salesman in the World. His books have sold over 50 million copies and have been translated into over twenty-five different languages. He was the president of Success Unlimited magazine until 1976 and is an inductee of the National Speakers Association's Hall of Fame.
My Experience with OG
I was first introduced to Og when a friend gave a copy of The Choice. I loved it. I quickly consumed the rest of his books. In his autobiographical book, A Better Way to Live, Og Mentioned that he wrote back EVERYONE who took the time write him. I put him to the test and wrote him, not once…but four times. True to his word, he wrote me back each time. We mostly discussed my favorite of his works, and the inspiration for this site, The Greatest Miracle in the World (The story of the "Ragpicker"). In one of my letters I told Og how I had been a counselor over the summer for a youth camp and how I had given away almost 10,000 Ragpicker Amulets. He wrote me back and encouraged me to keep up the good work, this website and organization is my attempt to just that.
The Day I Became a Ragpicker - Inspired By OG
Here is my brief story, about how I became a Ragpicker. I still have my first Ragpicker Amulet twenty-two years later.
It was the summer before my junior year in high school and I was alone in my room in the basement of the house my parents bought when they first got married, (they still live there). I finished reading the last page of the book I started a little over an hour before and set the book 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.
When I finish a good book, there seems to be a small moment of hesitation where I don’t quite know what to do with myself next. The Greatest Miracle in the World was NOT one of those books for me.
I knew what I was going to do.
I got up from my bed and walked to my dresser. I quickly thumbed through the t-shirts in the drawer like a burglar with limited time looking for the hidden treasure. I found the white t-shirt I felt was a worthy donor and held it up in front of me. My eyes were drawn to the logo on the "heart" of the shirt. The green "Barlow Brothers Lawnservice" logo was the symbol I represented as I worked side-by-side with my three older brothers from the time I was ten. We worked together mowing, trimming, watering, edging and hedging the grounds for the condo complex behind my parents backyard fence as well as about fifty other residential yards. I liked working with my brothers. The logo on my t-Shirt represented "us." "Barlow Brothers Lawnservice," like "Barlow," was a name we shared, a name we had in common and were known by.
I reached my hand into the front right pocket of my jeans and pulled retrieved the small red Swiss-army knife and started the surgery on the shirt. I cut out a little, plain piece of the shirt, about ¾ of an inch on every side. I found a safety pin in the "junk drawer" and pinned the rag on the left sleeve of the shirt I was wearing. I had just made my first "Ragpicker’s Amulet." I went and looked at myself in the mirror and looked at the rag on my sleeve. It was official…I had become a Ragpicker. I had started my journey down Ragpicker Road, it was a "calling" I would never be released from. I was starting a new job. David R. Barlow
I hope you will join me in my effort to honor Og Mandino by helping to fulfill his vision of creating thousands of Ragpickers!
"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."