Free «One Cup of Tea Philosophy» Essay
Greg Mortenson’s book “Three Cups of Tea” was a best seller for seventy four weeks straight and has been the object of discussion for many throughout the world who urge for world change. This piece of writing is inspirational and thought-provoking. What is so great about this book? It is the real life experiences of Greg Mortenson where he implemented a philosophy known as “One Cup of Tea” which is a lesson we should all practice. Greg Mortenson is neither a political personality nor a social activist. He is and was just an average person who saw life through optimistic eyes and had an aim to bring about betterment for people around him. His book is filled with his struggle to bring changed based on this philosophy. Surely bringing about change is not easy but we all have the power to do it, and the book is a living example of how a single man achieved so much all based on a simple philosophy. Before we begin to reflect upon the philosophy, it is crucial to mention how he came to develop this theory, its background and what lessons it has for us.
What brought him to start his movement and practice this philosophy was his experience at the Karakoram, Pakistan, where he had ventured to climb Mount K-2. After a near death experience and being inspired with the generosity of the Hajji Ali’s family, he learned the lesson that changed his life: Three Cups of Tea. He learned that when you have the first cup you are a stranger, after the second you become a guest, and the third turns you into a friend and gives you the power to expect the best in return (Mortenson, 2006). This simple statement has a lot of depth to it and once we start pondering over it, we come to realize how closely it relates to our lives and what power we have. Surely, for Mortenson, applying his theory met with massive obstacles but it was worthwhile and ended in inspiring so many, like me.
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Mortenson was well aware of how terrorism was and is being conducted with the shield of religious extremism. Living in that Northern Pakistan region, he understood the root of the problem which was basically misguidance and lack of education. Pakistan being a country which has much to do with male dominance, the girls in remote villages is mostly deprived of the right to learn. Mortenson wanted change, and understanding the “Three Cups of Tea” theory put forward by Hajji Ali, he formed the philosophy of “One Cup of Tea” where his first cup of tea was to establish a girls’ school. He believed that if we teach a boy, we change the life of an individual but if we teach a girl, we educate and change the life of an entire generation. Mortenson was not a rich fellow and his aim led him to struggle for a year to come up with the enough funds to establish the school for girls in the Northern Pakistan. It was only the determination and the power of the One Cup of Tea philosophy that Mortenson ended up establishing seventy four schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan (Mortenson, 2006).
This at first seems like a minor attempt as that area accounts for a very small portion of the entire world that needs changing. But the contribution he made had the power to produce a high magnitude effect. His attempt makes us wonder, if one man achieved so much for an individual’s might, how much we all can achieve together. There are many in the whole world that think like Mortenson and have an urge to bring a radical revolution in the world and lead it towards peace. The only difference between the rest and Mortenson, is the practice of the philosophy, which we on some level are all familiar with but find it hard to implement, or rather too impractical to implement.
According to the philosophy, one step at a time we can bring a change. Change in today’s world seldom occurs radically. It needs time, patience and the proper direction. Mortenson had found the right direction, which even led him to end up having tea with a Taliban himself in Pakistan!
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Reflecting on this philosophy, we understand how each individual of the world has some power to produce change. The only question is: what to do? To answer this question we can see what Mortenson did: he took notice of the requirement of the small town and used up his resources to produce the change required. Of course, that was his calling and not ours. But like the situation that Mortenson encountered, he got himself involved to find the root of the problem. This we can do in our own local towns. What Mortenson did was focused on a project that had high visions. Being students, we have to understand what we can do. We can look around in our own neighborhoods and social circles and detect problem areas and assess our resources through which we can solve those problems. Change begins at a small level and bringing a small change leads to massive impacts in time. Almost everyone has the power to produce a small change in his whereabouts. The more resources a person has the larger change he can produce.
Does our lack of resources bind us? Yes. This brings us to discuss the obstacles and the struggles one has to do to bring change, just like Mortension had to face resistance from village leaders and extremists. The world has taken up a form where every good deed meets resistance from the environment. Is the world accustomed to negativity? Not really. It is suppressed under negativity and the people residing in it fear brining change. But who says bring a revolution. If can teach a young child to behave respectfully, haven’t we contributed something to the society? This is an example of a rather small change we can bring in our society.
Social activists and non-profit making organizations all over the world are continuously engaged in implementing ways to change the society, let it be in the form of education for the poor, funding of medicines to the remote villages, and a lot more. They yearn for finance from big companies to support their noble causes. But corruption and lack of resources binds people who aim to bring change, even big social groups. Our job is not to let ourselves get restricted and hindered. Our aim and determination should be strong enough to surpass the obstacles.
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Mortenson achieved what he realized was important in the areas he visited. He recognized the need for education as a major factor due to which the people were living in misguidance. He did all in his might to educate the people. He practiced “One Cup of Tea” at a time. He established one school after another and won the hearts of the many people who gave him a hard time initially. Reading his experiences makes us realize how far a person with the noblest of the causes can go if he has had his feet firmly set on the ground with determination as strong as any weapon. His weapon was education and his resources which he spend time and efforts in gathering. This philosophy has the potential to produce a radical change in the world if people come to practice it in their daily lives. Most of us want a better life with peace and safety. But we expect someone else to bring a radical change for us. Mortenson proved that change is best implied if it is not radical but gradual with long term effects. Getting to the root of the problem and establishing a proper direction with the power to resist criticism, are the major factors that lead to a successful change, One Cup of Tea at a time!
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