Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Three Cups of Tea

You should read this book. It's a great story. You'll enjoy it--and you'll come out the other side a world citizen of a higher caliber.

After failing to climb K2, Greg Mortenson stumbles into a village so remote it's not on any map. The villagers extend help to him. He notices children trying to conduct school in the open, "kneeling on the frosty ground," and without a teacher. He promises he'll return to build the village a school. And he does. And then he builds schools across Pakistan and Afghanistan. With nothing but vision, drive, and determination (plus some luck and rich donors), he almost singlehandedly opens wide vistas of opportunity to hundreds of people in dozens of villages.

I still harbor hope of changing the world, myself. So I loved reading this step-by-step explanation of how Mortenson transitioned from clueless drifter to effective international activist.

Turns out that in the process, he's undermining the very roots of terrorism. In the areas where Mortenson works, the absence of state-run education leaves a void that is often filled by militant Islamic madrassas that teach jihad over math and science. Children with no access to basic education or hope of earning a decent living are easy recruits for extremists. By providing real education, Mortenson removes those easy targets, and he builds goodwill that thwarts hatred of America and the West.

Mortenson says, “If you are inspired by Three Cups of Tea and its message of peace through education, I have a simple request for you: please tell at least one other person about this book....Finally, read to your children as much as you can. Encourage them to be curious and compassionate about our world, and inspire them to find their own unique way to make a positive difference. It is possible to change the world one penny, one pencil, and one child at a time.”

I am inspired by the message of peace through education, and I do believe in changing the world one child at a time. So if you’d like to read this book, make a comment to this post. In 10 days, I’ll choose a random winner and send you my very own, dog-eared copy. If you're not the winner, get your own copy from Target.


  1. Wow! Sounds like a great book. I'd love to read it. I'll add it to my list, even if I don't win your copy.

  2. Yeay! It's in a local library! I'm eager to read it--sounds great. (You really don't have to send it to Australia....)

  3. I love how you entice us with your used books. I would love to pick it up and used to lament how there was never a good list of books that similar (with similar values) people recommended. I love the recommendations found at my fave blogs at good reads... now I just need to manufacture some time.

  4. It sounds like a really interesting book. How do you have time to read, anyway?

    My mom just commented that it makes the most difference to educate moms who then teach their children...the girls in those schools will someday be moms and will pass on what they know.

  5. It's funny, teachers are often given the least amount of credit, are teased for having made such a no-brains-needed career decision, and then reviled for not a great teacher. This is the kind of story that made me want to teach. Teaching children is perhaps the most amazing thing any person could do.
    I don't have time to read a book that has this many pages, but it makes me feel better just hearing about it.

  6. Ooh, would love to read it, especially your dog-eared version!

  7. Me, Me, I would love to read your copy in the hopes that it will reveal your thoughts to me. I am always afraid to let anyone read my comments, as I feel the are a bit personal.

  8. I would also love to read this book. I also wanted to respond about the sprouts. the lid I have is made of plastic, I'm not sure where you can buy them, but I know you can use cheese cloth. wrap it around the jar and use the ring to keep it in place. the lid just rests on top. they need some air, but not a lot. good luck!

  9. Chelsea you're the random winner!

  10. I read this at your recommendation and I really loved it, now I'm pushing it on all my friends and family too.

    Thanks for the suggestion!