Saturday, May 23, 2009

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin ****

My sister loaned me this book, she’s in a book club that reads non-fiction books from & about different cultures. Basically, it has to do with a man who tried to climb K2 & failed, but in the process found his true calling—building schools for the people of the Karakoram Mountains of northern Pakistan. I have to say that this is a very inspirational story, where one person actually did make a difference. Greg Mortenson now heads an organization called the Central Asia Institute that’s responsible for building 55 schools in Pakistan & Afghanistan.
Musing on how important education is to those who don’t get to have it, it makes me think about how much me take for granted in our country. The US has a lot of problems, that’s true. But they’re the kind of problems born out of plenty. We’re fat, depressed, & stressed, all because we get to have too much. When seeing how other people live, in countries where food is scarce, let alone education, it makes me feel like our country needs to do more. And when I say do more, I don’t mean exporting & imposing our way of life onto others. I mean just giving them a fair chance, like all of us have.
Dog & I got to see President Obama about a month ago when he came to town to give his first 100 days speech. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I’ll never forget. I particularly liked his take on giving aide to other countries. He pointed out how little of our budget is spent on foreign aid—it’s a pittance. By reaching out a hand to help other countries make their own dreams come true, we do good for others. When we retroactively wage war against people who don’t even know who we are, & who we certainly haven’t taken the time to know, all it does in set the human race back. I hope we’re getting back on the right track. I know I feel much better about the direction of our country now than I did a year ago.

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