The quote is from the book Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson (c. 2007, Penguin Press). The book jacket reads, in part, "The astonishing, uplifting story of a real-life Indiana Jones and his humanitarian campaign to use education to combat terrorism in the Taliban's backyard. Anyone who despairs of the individual's power to change lives has to read the story of Greg Mortenson, a homeless mountaineer who, following a 1993 climb of Pakistan's treacherous K2, was inspired by a chance encounter with impoverished mountain villagers and promised to build them a school."
Boy, did I feel convicted that I didn't read it before now! Listen to what Mortenson says:
"Haji Ali spoke. ‘If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways," Haji Ali said, blowing on his bowl. The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die," he said, laying his hand warmly on Mortenson's own. "Doctor Greg, you must take time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated but we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time."
"That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I’ve ever learned in my life," Mortenson says. "We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly. We're the country of thirty-minute power lunches and two-minute football drills. Our leaders thought their 'shock and awe' campaign could end the war in Iraq before it even started. Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them."
My great thanks to the person who gave me this. All of you can continue the dialog merely by replying to this post. Click on "comment".