Thursday, October 30, 2008

Three Cups of Tea

One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

Quickie Recap: Greg Mortenson, an American climber, fails to get to the summit of K2, but succeeds in doing more good for the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan than the rest of his country combined.

Quickie Review: I'm not going to comment much on how it's written except to say that Relin is more than competent. The real crux here is that Mortenson is an incredible person with an extraordinary story. He's a regular guy who has selflessly given himself to a cause that seemed to go against what the rest of his country was doing at the time. But Mortenson fights for peace by building schools - educating girls, and giving all children the option of a traditional but non-extremist education. Perhaps an even bigger achievement is that he's been able to earn the trust and respect of people who have plenty of reasons to hate Americans, and his success is a great example that rebuilding a country and regaining peace is not about utilities or train tracks, but about relationships.

Quickie Recommendation: Is this endorsement ringing yet? Mortenson seems destined for the history books, and for a much-deserved Nobel Prize for peace, and we should all be inspired and moved by this remarkable man and the quiet way he's gone about changing the world. I'm glad to have found a cause I can feel so good about right before the holiday season and I'm sure that you'll feel the same way too.

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