‘Here we drink three cups of tea to do business; the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and the third, you join our family, and for our family we are prepared to do anything – even die.’
This quote is the inspiration for the title of the New York Times bestseller Three Cups of Tea, the remarkable story of Greg Mortenson and his commitment to build schools and improve lives in the poorest villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
In preparation for Mr. Mortenson’s visit to Holy Cross at the end of September , I’ve been reading his book. The more I read, the more I realize that there are so many lessons contained within – commitment, honor, the value of hard work, respect, etc.
But perhaps the one lesson that has stuck with me the most is the lesson of perseverance. Without reading the book, you might imagine that Mr. Mortenson decided to build schools and simply did it. It was not that easy.
In building his first school, he had to deal with an unfamiliar foreign land, coming up with enough money, time constraints, missing supplies, etc. It was no easy task.
Similarly, as you sit down to write your Common Application essay, remember the lesson of perseverance. You might struggle with an unfamiliar format, coming up with an idea, time constraints, missing ideas, etc. An essay that you can be proud of is not likely to simply appear on your computer; but know that if you invest your time, effort and hard work, you will succeed. If you persevere, your efforts will be rewarded with an essay of which you can be proud. Hard work always pays off.
Greg Mortenson knows this to be true.
The children who attend his schools know this to be true.
You do, too.
Andrew N. Carter
Associate Director of Admissions