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‘Inspiring’ doesn’t do it justice: Three Cups of Tea

October 17, 2007

To say that I was ‘inspired’ by my latest read, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson & David O. Relin, is like saying I ‘like’ chocolate. ‘Inspired’ is a profound understatement. 

Three Cups of Tea


Essentially, Three Cups of Tea recounts the journey made by Greg Mortenson after his failed attempt at summitting K2 and his promise to return to the Balti people and build a school. No big deal. Right? Ha. From raising the funds to navigating Pakistani business practices to the physical construction of the schools, nothing comes easy. And yet. He perseveres. For children and a country that aren’t his own.

I make empty promises to myself and others. I rarely finish projects. I’m a lot of talk and very little action.Reading about Mortenson’s drive and the loyalty and action he inspired in others – one can’t help feeling the need to commit themselves to something greater.I could go on for hours about this book, but as I have actual work to do at work (go figure), I’ll just say this:Read it.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 3, 2007 9:10 pm

    I saw your post on THREE CUPS OF TEA and decided to write to tell you about a book that Doubleday is publishing MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE by Bill Strickland

    Last November I flew to Pittsburgh to meet Bill Strickland. All I knew was that he had built a center in the middle of the ghetto, six blocks from where he grew up, and “was saving the lives of troubled youths and disadvantaged adults through arts and education.” Exactly what that meant didn’t hit home for me until I stepped foot inside his building and met the man himself.

    Bill started off his center, The Manchester Craftsman’s Guild in a row-house that was donated by the local church. His method for getting kids out of trouble and off the street was simple: physically take them and show them how to work with clay. As word traveled from person to person and school to school, he no longer had to go seeking them; they came to him and his little center grew to become a world-class facility.

    Designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s students, the center is bathed in sunlight despite the cold and snowy November day, fresh flowers are everywhere, and a buzz of activity from both students and adults is in the air. The flowers are not just any flowers, but prize-winning orchids grown in their state-of-the-art greenhouse just next door. Some might ask what a poverty program needs a greenhouse for and to that Bill would be the first to say that it is NOT a poverty program. It is a training program for poor people and why shouldn’t poor people be given a sanctuary from the streets where they see no light ahead of them? By teaching them horticulture, along with culinary, computer, mathematics, chemistry, ceramics, photography, and much more, Bill is helping to change the conversation and help them see that they have a future outside of what they know. In building this world-class facility, he is helping to create world-class citizens.

    Over the years I have worked with many different authors, all with their own unique backgrounds. Bill is the first author whose story has brought tears to my eyes, has received a standing ovation at every speech I have seen him give, and has even tempted me to leave my job so that I might follow in his footsteps. Luckily for me, Bill’s message also shows us that we don’t need to do anything that drastic. There is always something we can do right in our own backyard that will make a difference in people’s lives. It is my hope that in writing this letter and offering you a complimentary copy of MAKE THE IMPOSSIBLE POSSIBLE, you too will be inspired by his remarkable life and share it with your blog readers.

    I look forward to hearing from you and getting your mailing address to send you a free copy of this amazing new book.

    To find out more about Bill, the book and view a video of him please visit

    To see more about the center in Pittsburgh watch:

    Meredith McGinnis
    Associate Director of Marketing
    Doubleday 1745 Broadway New York, NY 10019
    Tel: 212-782-8967

  2. June 23, 2008 1:10 pm

    True! The lengths and breadths he has gone to keep a promise is more than inspiring.

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