Greg has a style of writing that draws you in from the very beginning. With his humbleness and honesty, he makes you fall in love with the work that he and his “Dirty Dozen” do day in and day out in some of the most troubled parts of the world.
The cause itself is reason enough to create an overwhelming amount of sympathy from any decent human being: Literacy for girls. One of Greg’s favorite sayings is: “If you educate a boy, you educate an individual, but if you educate a girl, you educate a community.” It is so true! Women are the key to bringing peace to those regions where war and hatred are part of everyday life. But first, they must learn how to read and become independent. Based on this book, it’s already in the works and it’s exciting!
However, what struck me the most in reading this book is how bad things really are in Afganistan. I had no idea! Is it because I don’t pay attention to the news or is it because the news doesn’t tell us? I’m guessing it’s a little of both. It was certainly a wakeup call for me to pay even more attention to what is going on with my global family. We’re all in this together and if we don’t know when others are in desperate need, how will we know to help?
I think many people/organizations don’t know how to help. One of the key messages of the book is that the only way to know how to help is to spend time with and listen to the people who are suffering. This is what Greg Mortenson’s organization, Central Asia Institute, has done and why they have been so successful. May we all learn from this lesson and implement it in all parts of our lives.