Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Healing Book

I am sick. Darn it. I was supposed to go to Detroit to see my two granddaughters and bake cookies. But instead I am spending Saturday on the couch.

Taking advantage of the enforced quiet time, I finished reading Three Cups of Tea, the story of Greg Mortenson building primary schools in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Greg is a mountain climber turned humanitarian. He is the Director of the Central Asia Institute. The book is an amazing story of Mortenson's total dedication to making the world more peaceful by providing education to those who have nothing.

I was fascinated that the Pakistani tribal elders taught Greg the ways of the region saying, "Share one cup of tea, you are stranger, the second cup of tea you are friend and third cup of tea you are family." Greg, in the early days of trying to get schools built, was impatient and driving. He soon learned that he need to sit back and develop relationships!

The elders also shared with him that when he wanted to go to the next village to investigate the possibility of building a school, he needed an introduction to the village elders. And like many people working in foreign countries, he hired a "fixer," someone who could smooth the way for Greg, because they knew the lay of the land.

When we typically think of networking, we envision the Chamber event or meeting with those we know. Instead this book takes us to a very third world place to show that networking (and this word is not used in the book) and relationship-building is universal.

What book have you read that demonstrates relationship building?

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