Thursday, January 14, 2010

Three Cups of Tea for Me

I went in search of inspiration - and boy did I get a big huge heaping helping of it. My dear friend Jilly treated me to a night with Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea. (Sounds rather juicy doesn't it?) He appeared at the Toronto Library to share his message of peace through education. The place was packed with more women than men, faces of all colours and ages and a scattering of children - many clutching a copy of one of the two books he has written.

He started late ... he went MIA. They found him down on the main floor of the library, greeting the throngs of people who were seated in "overflow" in front of video screens. The first thing I noticed about this big bear of a man was that he "saw" people; he didn't look through them. As he made his way to the podium, his smiling face beaming, he paused to shake hands and ask people their names. He continued along the front row until the faciliator gently reminded him that time was at a premium.

He seemed to be genuinely grateful to be there, and for the next hour  or so he mesmerized us with tales of  his childhood in Tanzania, the Afghan elders who became his mentors and of his passion for his mission to help educate girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He explained how education is the key to peace. My recount of the evening does not do it justice. I can only say that he moved me in a way that was unexpected. I felt the first tear fall as I watched the opening video showing the shining, hopeful faces of the Afghan children and wizzened faces of the elders. The next tear slipped down my cheek as Greg walked through the door and started embracing and greeting people with such warmth and genuine interest. There's that word genuine again ... and I suppose that pretty much sums up my impression of Greg Mortenson. GENUINE.

Jilly and I laughed as we concurred that we felt as though we had just seen a rock star -- an evening on par with a Bruce Springsteen concert (and we really love Bruce!). At the end of the evening my heart was happy, my head was spinning and I was brimming with love.  I felt full to overflowing with inspiration. A person like Greg Mortenson is a shining beacon of hope ... and makes me want to shine my own light too.

Thanks Jilly for an evening that impacted me profoundly.

Watch this moving video with the Three Cups of Tea song, sung by Greg Mortenson's 13 year old daughter Amira.


  1. Really grateful to have shared this amazing evening with you Lyn. He is one of the most memorable and inspirational people I've ever encountered. According to the Toronto Library Twitter feed he stayed until 11:57 p.m. to make sure he signed a book for every person in line!

  2. Lyn, I too loved the book, loved his mission ... and I also really like Bruce!
    Lucky you to have heard Greg speak :)

  3. So now the tears are pouring down my face having listened to that song. Just like they did when I read the book.
    I would love to meet him but wrong continent i think.

  4. Lyn...your last few blogs echoed my feelings. I have been unable up to this point to express my feelings in words about the horror of Haiti.I do know that Haiti was in a horrible state befor the earthquake.I cannot imagine the state they live and die in now.Good expressions Lyn. Polar bear


I've made it easier to comment - no nasty word verification. So let me know you dropped by.