Greg Mortenson came to speak in my city today. He's a mountain climber who got lost and ended up starting schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I read his first book recently and was incredibly moved. If you haven't read it, please do. It isn't a waste of time. Tonight's event was amazing. He isn't a great speaker. He stumbled his speech a couple of times. However what he had to say was straight from the heart. What this man has accomplished is absolutely amazing. He came not to beg for money or even to promote his organization, but to encourage us all to find something that we are passionate about and change our world. Out of his mission has come Pennies for Peace which encourages kids to do what they can to change the world.
The first chapter of Three Cups of Tea is entitled failure. It is out of failure that Greg came into his passion. Because he got lost, he learned about the desperate need of Pakistani children for education. He quoted a Persian proverb: When it is dark, then you can see the stars. I want to make a difference in the world. Right now, I feel like a failure. One of the biggest things I was passionate about is currently a closed door. One of the relationships I put the most effort into is over and ended badly. I'm worried that anything I try will similarly end in failure, that maybe that's all I'm destined for.
Prior to getting lost, that's where Greg was too. He was lost, adrift and felt like a failure. It took him many years and miles to realize his passion and his potential. Tonight has encouraged me to keep looking for mine. I have a lot of ideas. I'm passionate about community, serving the poor, widows, orphans and refugees, building relationships, inclusion, birth, breastfeeding, reading, cooking, local food and youth. Where I'm going to go with this I don't know. I don't want to be crazily busy and be away from my family 6 months of the year. But I do want to make a difference. I'm tempted to post some of my thoughts here, but instead I think I need to sleep on them and talk to Steve. For now my thought is: Failure is not the end, rather failure is the opportunity for a brand new beginning.
Speaking of beginnings, I leave tomorrow for the city. My doula course starts tomorrow night and runs until Sunday. Steve may bring his laptop and I may decide to blog from it. Then again, I might not. If you don't hear from me sooner, I hope you have a safe and happy weekend. :)