In my last post I wrote about patience. A true model of patience is Greg Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute.
Greg Mortenson’s second book, Stones into Schools, will be the subject of the book club that my wife Carolyn and I are hosting next week. Greg spent time growing up in Roseville, MN and became a mountain climber. His first book, Three Cups of Tea, describes how he found his calling building schools in isolated mountain villages of Pakistan. It is a thrilling adventure story. In the second book, subtitled Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Greg continues his incredible story of patience and persistence.
My wife crafted some discussion questions that I encourage you to use for your own reflection as you read Greg’s book. The questions cover the first 100 pages (which is what we are discussing next week). Feel free to leave a comment on any question.
- Mortenson says, “If you educate a boy, you educate an individual, but if you educate a girl, you educate a community.” Do you agree or disagree? Explain
- Were you surprised with Mortenson’s comment that religious scholars of Islam have told him that, “Murder and suicide are two of the most unforgivable sins in Islam?” Why or why not?
- Mortenson says that in order to get things done in Pakistan and Afghanistan, “It is essential to listen with humility to what others have to say.” Is this something that anyone anywhere can do to work for peace? Why or why not?
- Mortenson says that his work demands patience and that “any wise village elder will tell you, anything truly important is worth doing very, very slowly.” What could we, in our fast-paced American culture, learn from this philosophy?
- Does the quotation, “last place first” philosophy (p. 35) of the Central Asia Institute make sense to you? Why or why not?
- How did Mortenson’s upbringing in Tanzania prepare him for his work today?
- Reread Sardhar Kahn’s poem on pages 99-100. What are your thoughts and response?