Mortenson’s latest book is called “Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs.”
Every time I would run into a friend of mine, she would ask me, “Have you read ‘Three Cups of Tea’ yet?” After more than a year of this, I decided I’d better just do it so she’d stop bugging me. Now I get it.
Greg Mortenson didn’t set out to change the world, but he may be one of our greatest assets when it comes to fighting terrorism and anti-American sentiment in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It’s a lesson the U.S. government could learn in trying to win the hearts and minds of people in those regions.
Mortenson was lost after a disastrous attempt to climb a mountain. He was taken in by a village in Pakistan. Seeing their generosity to him in spite of their extreme poverty, Mortenson vowed to return and build a school for their children.
To date, Mortenson has built 145 schools in mostly rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He’s been awarded the Sitara-e-Pakistan, the “Star of Pakistan,” the country’s highest civilian honor, for his humanitarian efforts. He’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
His efforts show how one man really can make a difference and how people are people, despite whatever conflicts our governments may be involved in.