Sunday, November 30, 2008
Three Cups of Tea
I am just a couple of chapters away from finishing what will be put on my shelf as one of the most influential and important books I have ever read. The book is called Three Cups of Tea. It is the inspiring true life account of Greg Mortensen. This giant of a man, in many ways, attempts to climb K2 only to find failure and ending up in a little village in Pakistan called Korphe. There he is nursed lovingly back to help by people who will become to him like family only stronger. After being there for some time he asks to be taken to the school. He gets to a place where a large amount of kids are scratching their multiplication tables in the snow with a stick. They do it with no teacher because they can only afford to have him a couple of days a week. He is so moved and I think inspired that he tells them he will build them a school....an absolutely inspring tale that will bring you to tears and have you re-evaluating your time and your life follows. At this time I think a lot about my desire to help find eduaction opportunities for the poor. You all know that I would happily sale all I own and move my family to Haiti to do it. But, the challenge for me is that I am needed here, doing what I can for Haiti often times from a computer or being willing to speak up and try and find help. However, I have the honor of raising five boys...maybe if I can soften their hearts and help them receive an astounding education they can make a much bigger difference than I ever could. That is my hope...After reading about Mr. Mortensen and the amazing Pakistani people he has the honor to work with the world becomes smaller and you feel you heart getting larger.
From the Book-Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything. Mother Teresa
May I also take a moment and point out how blessed we are. When the war broke out after the attack on 9/11 Greg was in Pakistan. When it became time for him to return to America, his self appointed bodyguard was in tears. This man was willing to die for him, and would have been honored to do so. This is their conversation:
Greg: What is it, Faisal? Mortenson said, squeezing his bodyguard's broad shoulder.
Faisal: "Now your country is at war, what can I do? How can I protect you there?"
Faisal sees daily the tragedies of war, hears the bombs, sees the refugees filter into the cities by thousands, knows people who have died. He assumes that Greg is returning to Montana and will see the same things. We all know that just isn't the way it is.
We have experienced tragedy and I don't discredit that in any way. But, for the most part we tuck our kids in at night and we don't have to worry about bombs, starvation, if our children will ever have to leave or if our children will make it safely through the night. We are so blessed to be Americans! It is an honor, but with that honor I believe comes responsibility. May I encourage each of us to use our blessings for good. We all have something that means a lot to us. May we put our hearts into making a difference and that will be the best way we can thank God for giving us the priveleges we have been given!
From the book I quote a necklace worn by volunteer Julia Bergman heading into Afghanistan knowing her life is likely in danger, "I want to be used up when I die!" I know exactly how she feels.