This book tells the amazing true-life story of Greg Mortenson – a man who has devoted his life to promoting peace in Pakistan and Afghanistan primarily through building schools and educating children.  His story is both both inspiring and daunting.  Inspiring because it demonstrates the change that one selfless man can inflict.  Daunting because it demonstrates the change that one selfless man can inflict. So much for using “I’m only one person” as an excuse for sitting on my butt…  When you are willing to set aside your wants and needs and personal comfort, you are freed to focus on the lives of others, to empower them and bless them and make their lives better.

I love Mortenson’s attitude toward the fight against terrorism – it’s not about scare tactics, or weaponry, or implementation of American culture and systems.  It’s about providing the often-desperate impoverished people in these rural areas of Pakistan with an alternative to the existing Muslim schools which often exclude girls and indoctrinate young boys with extremist beliefs.  It’s about respecting other cultures, empowering them with the knowledge of a well-rounded education, trading our arrogance for humility.  So much easier said than done, I understand, but isn’t it clear that the U.S. government’s current approach has not worked?  Time to try something else, maybe?

Read this book.