A Pencil Is Stronger Than a Gun His father died when he was 48 years old, his sister had contracted acute meningitis, and he suffered from a lack of money; this is a description of the early parts of Greg Mortenson’s life. Three Cups of Tea, the non-fiction story, shows how this ordinary person conveys important message to people around the world through building schools in Pakistan. Why did Greg Mortenson choose the school as the medium for his message? He believes that education will not only change Pakistani children’s view of life, but it will be the way to eventually get rid of terrorism.
When Greg Mortenson stayed in the village of Korphe, he was impressed by the villager’s hunger for knowledge. Even though their first generations are not educated enough, they wanted to do something for their next generation’s education. One day, Haji Ali, who was Greg Mortenson’s mentor in Korphe, said “I can’t read anything. This is the greatest sadness in my life. I’ll do anything so the children of my village never have to know this feeling. I’ll pay any price so they have the education they deserve” (Mortenson and Relin 153). Haji Ali already knew that education is the most essential thing to live a better life. Greg Mortenson also realized what he had to do for the rest of his life: it was building schools in a Pakistani village; and he truly believed that the education from the schools would change the Pakistani children’s view of life. This significant change would give the children reasons to live rather than only to die, committing terroristic attacks. Greg Mortenson said “If we try to resolve terrorism with military might and nothing else, then we will be no safer than we were before 9/11. If we truly want a legacy of peace for our children, we need to understand that this is a war that will ultimately be won with books, not with bombs”(301). In other words, Mortenson thought that schools and universal literacy were the most effective way to cure terrorism. Greg Mortenson’s heroic achievement started from accidental promise in the small village. However, this promise has now changed his life. His messages about school and education are deeply impressed in people’s hearts all around the world. Bombs would cause physical pain to people, but it would not change their mind. Instead, it more strongly triggers opposite feelings. To cut this vicious circle, Greg Mortenson chooses the school. He wanted to educate children and give them a bright future. He is still building the school even at this moment to prove his choice was right. Works Cited Mortenson, Greg, and David Oliver Relin. Three Cups of Tea. Newyork: Penguin, 2007.