Monday, January 3, 2011

The Great Cause

New Year's Resolution chatter is everywhere. It's what we do on and around the start of a new year. We reflect, we project, we resolve to make changes and "do better." And then in February, only the chosen few can remember their resolutions. Most of us slump out of them and hope, in the back of our minds, that we'll have enough fortitude to follow through with it next year.

I recently finished Three Cups of Tea, a book about Greg Mortenson, the man who took a wrong turn on his descent from K2 and found himself in the small village of Korphe, Pakistan. He quickly realized the village had no school and the children, especially the girls, had little opportunity to be educated. Determined to help, he flew back to America to begin raising funds and making plans. One little school eventually turned into dozens as Mortenson was exposed to the magnitude of this problem. He turned indifferent bystanders into passionate advocates for this cause. Because of all these efforts, the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan now enjoy greater opportunity than ever to receive a balanced education and grow up to make a real difference in their country.

K2. Photo credit:

I doubt Greg Mortenson included "Korphe School" on his Resolutions list at the beginning of that year. He didn't know Korphe existed. The point is, he stumbled upon an opportunity. His eyes were open and his heart was willing, and he responded in action.

You and I stumble upon discoveries every day, every week, every year. Even if it's one person who needs something that you can provide for one moment. Acting on those things is seizing the day. And who knows what will happen when we have the courage to follow through and do something for someone?! Greg Mortenson certainly didn't realize how life-defining the act of building one simple schoolhouse would be.

So as we stand here, looking out into the great unknown of 2011, all we have are our beliefs and the choices we will make. Let's make a resolution to open our eyes and act.

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