Lauren Rae Reichardt
11 February, 2010
People measure the success of others by what they have done in their lives, and for the lives surrounding them. As I realized in my own life, Greg Mortenson makes the realization of the importance of building strong relationships during his mission in Pakistan. Furthermore, this realization made Mortenson’s journey more fulfilling, and changed Mortenson’s outlook on the world surrounding him. Mortenson began to identify with the people of Pakistan and he started to understand their religion and religious practices. He also began to establish relationships with the citizens of Pakistan as well as with people in the United States. This made his journey more rewarding, and easier to complete. In Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortenson embarks on a journey of enlightenment that started with failure, yet he gains a meaningful mentorship with Haji Ali who guides him through his experiences, ultimately finding a passion within himself to pursue his dreams; my journey shadows Mortenson’s with the life changing experiences I have endured and the process it took for me to overcome the obstacles in the way of my personal growth. We have all failed at one point in our lives and for some the awareness of their failures may come easily or early, but for myself, I did not realize that I was walking down a path of failure until I was already there. Right out of high school, I started at UCR feeling lost and alone on an immense campus filled with strange and unfamiliar faces—an outsider in a big place, a loner in a world of imagination and knowledge, not fitting in. Feeling deserted and alone drove me to drop out of college; I failed my first semester. As Mortenson failed to build a school for the village of Korphe, I failed to go to the school that was already built, seats and teachers waiting; in fact, UCR might as well not have existed at all, for all I appreciated it. I eventually started working three jobs and living on my own, drinking heavily. Lonely, I needed someone to hold my hand and to tell me I was an important person in this world. Fortunately, the experience of meeting someone that made me feel wanted happened in a much unexpected way. I met Bria, and was instantly intrigued by her quietness and strangeness. A soft spoken woman, when she did speak, I was drawn in completely by her words. I finally laughed and smiled as I had not done in years. As I was doing my best to drown in Crown Royal, this relationship eventually failed, just as Mortenson failed to climb K2. But from Mortenson’s failure emerged a strong man, ready to fight for the success of his dreams, open minded to all challenges crossing his path. For me, the realization of my failures gave me a strength that I had never experienced before, just as Mortenson had found strength within himself to achieve this goal of building a school in the village of Korphe. During Mortenson’s journey in Pakistan he received the privileged gift of mentorship from Haji Ali, the leader of Korphe; this mentorship is similar to the mentorship I received in my first semester back in college at Chaffey. With this mentorship Mortenson was able to achieve success in the mission he set forth to complete. As I had already once failed in my success as a student, when I decided to go back to school I knew that I had to take it seriously. I enrolled in a guidance class for my first semester in order to get myself on the right track. Essentials for Student Success was where I fortunately gained my mentor Andrea Torres. I was unaware of what was holding me down on my path of success, and still feeling lost. I needed the right guidance to steer me in the right direction. Reading Three Cups of Tea I was moved and could relate to Mortenson when he said “He was the wisest man I’d ever met.” (Mortenson and Relin 153) When Andrea’s guidance took me in the right direction, I felt that she was the wisest woman to ever...
Cited: Mortenson, Greg, and David Oliver Relin. Three Cups of Tea. New York: Penguin Books, 2006. Print.
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