Conversation Over Tea

The book Three Cups of Tea was an interesting and inspiring read. Although the book took me longer to read than most, I am incredibly glad I finished it and have been touched in way I did not think I was going to. The story of Greg Mortenson and his pursuit to overcome cultural divides separating the Middle East with other parts of the world is incredible. He has endured pain unthinkable to most, fear no man should feel, uncertainty of life which will make any man cry. From the struggle and inevitable failure his climb of K2, to his heart-wrenching kidnappings, Greg Mortenson is a  life-experienced man. A man who knows a tremendous amount in regards to life and death. A man who I would confidently say, “knows what’s best.”

The desire to build schools was brought about by his experience with the village of Korphe. Here he saw an opportunity to repay the village for their compassion they showed him. This was the beginning of Greg Mortenson’s journey to knock down the divides and improve the knowledge base and communication of the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan to the rest of the world.

One thing I have learned in life is the importance of communication. In many areas of life I have learned that I am ignorant. Not stupid, just uneducated on the subject. I am unaware of the meanings behind certain things, and I do not understand the literal and subjective meanings behind  others decisions and or cultures. I believe this lack of education is what allows things like racism, prejudice, and hatred to even exist. Mortenson and I share the same thesis: to increase education and communication with poverty stuck countries to help close the war with terror.

The path to obtain what I believe needs to be done is going to be tremendously difficult, as demonstrated by Mortenson’s effort in Pakistan and Afghanistan just to build schools. We have learned from Mortenson that people in different parts of the world do not operate as we do here in Western Civilization. And, in order to accomplish one’s goals, one must sacrifice in order to obtain. Well, how do we reach such a place? How can we foster communication with a nation that may hate us? The end goal of increasing communication can be done with one of several ways: teaching the west Arabic, the middle east English, introducing western media to the middle east, and increasing the presence of the internet.

Although these activities are common and a part of everyday here life in the United States, it is not as common or even possible in other parts of the world. Political corruption and poverty play the role of gatekeeper for many aspects of life un be known to parts of the world. So, my cup of tea: to increase education and communication with poverty stuck countries, when its appropriate, over time, to help close the war fought by terror.