Three Cups of Tea

No, this isn’t a variation on the recipe re-posting currently occuring at Oh Waily.

Normally I’m not willing to be dictatorial regarding other people’s reading material.  I will strongly recommend that you may find value in reading a particular work (as per my post on Piero Ferucci’s book “The Power of Kindness”), but am less willing to insist a book is a “must read”. After all, we each have our own tastes and pleasures in the reading world.  But for this work of non-fiction I am willing to set that reticence aside and would venture to suggest that not only might you enjoy this book, and learn something new at the same time, but in fact should add this to the “must read” pile by your bedside.  I don’t think you’ll be sorry.

TCOTIt is bound to be in your local library, it was in mine.  Admittedly I had to wait for a while before it stayed on the shelf long enough to get it out, but it was there.

It is the remarkable story of Greg Mortenson and the work he began carrying out in the northern most region of Pakistan over twenty years ago.  It is a testament to the idea that each of us can invoke the butterfly effect in our lives for the betterment of everyone around us.

What sort of real effect can one man have on the fortunes of others?
Try building 78 schools in some of the poorest and harshest rural areas in central Asia. And have girls attending them.

This sort of hard work and philanthropy is enough to warm the cockles of most fair-minded peoples hearts, but perhaps the best and most interesting side effect is learning about how poverty and ignorance has the potential to cause a vacuum into which unscrupulous people can seed and nurture terrorist activity.  Reading this may, depending on your current understanding, change the way you view Pakistan and Afghanistan.  It may also change the way you view those beloved politicians who say they have “pledged” to rebuild and support communities into which their armies have carved great gouges through rockets, missiles and land mines.

It certainly opened my eyes to a non-media (i.e. sensational headlines driven) view of recent history as seen by someone who had been living and working with people in the regions propelled forwards into the international glare and condemned after the tragedy of September 11.

If you want to know more, visit the official Three Cups of Tea website.  They use their Amazon account to generate funds for the non-profit organisation, Central Asia Institute, that funds Mortenson’s work in this region of the world.

And, if you have time and the inclination to use Internet Explorer (the video wouldn’t load in Firefox for me), then the link to The Girl Effect that comes from the CAI website is also worth the few minutes of screen time.  Hopefully it will inspire you to learn more and perhaps even take some sort of action – donating, volunteering, or spreading the word about Three Cups of Tea.

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