So what can an early appreciation for the outdoors do for your kid?
It just might give your son or daughter the inspiration to do great things. That’s one of many lessons I learned from Greg Mortenson, the subject of the best-seller “Three Cups of Tea.”
The book chronicles Mortenson’s life, and part of that included exposure to other cultures as well as the outdoors. He developed a love for climbing, which eventually led him to Pakistan’s Karakoram Range, home of the most wicked and sought after prize in all of mountaineering: K2.
Mortenson didn’t succeed in climbing the peak. And he got lost on the trail getting off the mountain. That in turn led him to stumble into a small village, where he was nursed back to health. The village, called Korphe, had an abundance of hospitality. But it lacked a suitable school for its children.
To make a long story short, Mortenson went through great pains to see that a school would be built there. And ever since, he’s been building dozens of schools in northern Pakistan and Afghanistan, helping educate boys and girls, in an effort to better the lives of these poorest of people. A nice side effect is that an educated population is less likely to resort to religious extremism – a novel anfd effective way to fight the terrorism.
As you can tell, I loved the book and admire Mortenson. But it was one more example that I can see where a man’s love for the outdoors (as well as an open mind to cultures other than his own) can open unexpected and wonderful new paths. Read the book and you’ll see what I’m talking about.