IPSA Summer Book Club – Three Cups of Tea
On July 1, the IPSA book club met to discuss Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson at the bar Swift, a few blocks from the Puck building. The meeting was a success! There were seven people at the meeting – 3 current students, 2 new students, and 2 friends of an IPSA member.
The group discussed how impressed we all were with the extreme dedication Mortenson showed to his mission of building schools in rural Pakistan and later rural Afghanistan. He spent years of his life working with the local people, for very little money, often putting himself in danger. We discussed how we felt his made a different in empowering rural communities, particularly because aside from helping with the building, the school’s were run by the local people without an American influence. We agreed that work like Mortenson’s, by offering an alternative, can prevent poor people from turning to terrorism. However, we did note that the leaders of terrorist organizations often have high levels of education. We also talked about how Mortenson could have benefited from some organizational management and help with his finances and fundraising operations. He was luckily able to succeed, but his organization was constantly on the brink of financial ruin in its beginning days.
In the end, we were all amazed at the power one individual can have to change so many peoples lives and have such a positive impact.