Rolling the stones
Friday October 08th 2010, 9:46 pm
Filed under: Politics

Don loaned me his copy of Stones Into Schools, by Greg Mortenson, one of the most important books I’ve read in my life. Mortenson writes well and lives well: the man loves deeply.  And by that love’s work he is changing the world.

I’ve been savoring it slowly, a chapter or two a night–and then today couldn’t stand the wait and simply read through it all. I didn’t want to put any of those living characters down.  I wanted to support their cause of hiring the local population to build and staff good schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan and requiring that girls make up half the student population, both by my attention and financially.

I immediately ordered a copy of Three Cups of Tea.

I cannot begin to say how important it is that this man, and those who work with him, are alive in this world and that they are doing what they are doing (and how glad I am that our soldiers are being told to read Three Cups).  We are the ones being educated, too, by Mortenson’s showing who these people are and what their lives are like.  They respond to being cared about, just like we all do.

I did not know that the custom was, before one goes to war, the elders properly sit down with the opposing elders to discuss whether they can afford the costs: the winning side is to take on the solemn obligation to support the widows and children left behind.

My thanks to all who supported Mortenson’s cause by their donations long before I opened the book and let myself see beyond just the titles of two bestsellers.  There are students at 145 new built-t0-code schools and counting who will always know who, along with the dedicated labor of their families and neighbors, made it so they could learn to read and see the world through what others too may write.

5 Comments so far
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Great post, Alison. I will have to read those two books.

Comment by Joansie 10.09.10 @ 1:29 am

Mortenson is an astonishing person, and not the least bit egotistical. While “Stones into Schools” was on the N.Y. Times best seller list only briefly, “Three Cups of Tea” is coming up on THREE YEARS!

The others who need to be recognized and applauded are the Afghans and Pakistanis who help Greg — in fact do most of the work.

Comment by Don Meyer 10.09.10 @ 10:51 am

3 Cups… I have two copies. I think I’ll offer one up on my blog. Remind me if you don’t see a post in the next few days!

Comment by Channon 10.09.10 @ 12:31 pm

I read 3 Cups some time ago, bought it in an airport. I keep meaning to pick up the sequel. I was very impressed by Mortenson. How much of a difference he has made in so many lives!

Comment by Mary 10.09.10 @ 3:12 pm

I read Three Cups a couple (few?) years ago. I have recommended it to many since then. My regret is that on both “sides” not all are willing to let go of certain things, which results in harm to those who did no harm.

Comment by Ruth 10.12.10 @ 5:40 pm

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