I’ve been disappointed the last couple of days because of the allegations that surfaced on 60 Minutes related to Greg Mortenson and his books (Three Cups of Tea, Stones into Schools) and his foundation’s use of the money he’s raised.
Any time someone has as high a profile as he does–and captures the public’s imagination–there is the possibility (probability?) that someone will start digging to make sure things are exactly as they say they are. I also know that memory is not always as accurate as we would like to pretend it is…and sometimes when we revisit events that happened a number of years ago, stories can get jumbled.
I heard Greg Mortenson speak about a year ago–and I was impressed. I appreciated the way he interacted with children; his passion for education–especially for girls–and his encouragement for it as a way of changing societies was exciting; the stories of his experiences in Pakistan were challenging.
These allegations are troubling, and I am not sure where the truth lies. Perhaps somewhere inbetween…I don’t know. I hope that the situation becomes clarified…but I also hope that we do not throw his challenges aside. The challenge to provide education to those who would otherwise have little or no chance of being able to change their lives and their societies is still valid–still important.
Perhaps another challenge for each of us is to judge wisely–not in the context of condemnation, but in determining the wisest and best use of our resources. And…to be honest in our telling of our stories.