Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Three Cups of Tea

"Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

This was a wonderfully insightful book. I am amazed that just one man can accomplish so much. It made me look at the war in Afghanistan so differently. It is a true story of a man who attempted a climb to K2 and wound up lost in a Pakistan village. He was treated so kindly and saw the people there give so much when they had so little. He made a promise to come back some day and build a school. He kept his promise and so much more. "I have seen that community and a close relationship with the land can enrich human life beyond all comparison with material wealth or technological sophistication. I have learned that another way is possible." Sometimes technology and all the things that we have get in the way of the most important thing in our lives, the people we love. "That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I've ever leaned in my life," Mortenson says. "We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them." When we sit down with people and talk with them, to take the time, we learn so much. "You have to attack the source of your enemy's strength. In America's case, that's not Osama or Saddam or anyone else. The enemy is ignorance. The only way to defeat it is to build relationships with these people, to draw them into the modern world with education and business. Otherwise the fight will go on forever." And as I type this we continue to send more troops to fight a war that has been waging for 8 years. This book will inspire you and lead you to form new ideas on war.