Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Why you must read 'Three cups of tea'
I finished reading 'Three Cups of Tea' a book by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, last night. If there is one book that you absolutely must read, this year, this month, this lifetime, then this is it. I read through it in five days, and could not tear myself away from this absolutely beautiful story. And it's really not just a story, it is a true account of one man's vision to change lives half way across the world, and ultimately change the lives of everyone reading the book.
Greg Mortenson was a climber who after a failed attempt at K2, sought refuge at the village of Korphe, where he was welcomed as one of the family and treated with respect and love. Saddened to learn that the village had no school and eager-to-learn students were forced to sit out in the freezing weather scratching out marks on the ground with sticks, he vowed to build a school for the village.
His quest to build a school in a remote village in Pakistan, in the shadow of the Karakorum mountains, turned him from a somewhat lost dreamer and climber to a focused visionary who saw far beyond just the building of a school, one who saw how this one thing would forever change the lives of all the students. The Central Asia Institute that runs the schools was nurtured by Greg Mortenson to become the organization it is today, running over 50 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan and hoping to open in other countries as well.
The book is a veritable font of information about the region's geography, history, culture, tribes, politics and wars. Even though I have just finished reading the book, I know this is something that I will be reading again and again. There are lots of inspirational books out there, but this one is different, it touches the heart, it makes you feel that you must do something as well, that you must help out in any way possible.
The world needs more people like Greg Mortenson, and with all the schools he has opened and the inspiring lessons he has taught, there might just be several in the making! Looking forward to see who takes his legacy forward.