Monday, December 5, 2011

Three Cups of Tea

Why is it that we feel this need to classify people as all good or all bad? Especially people that garner public attention must either be saints or villains in our society. Greg Mortenson is a fabulously committed social entrepreneur who started an organization that builds schools targeted at girls' education in Afganistan. After a trip there, he liquidated his entire life's assets to fund the project. It's a wonderful program that has helped immensely, particularly in rural areas. Last year, some documents came out suggesting he had embezzled some money from the organization and that portions of his book, Three Cups of Tea, may not be accurate accounts of what happened. Media quickly jumped on the story and utterly villainized Mortenson. Now, my argument here is not nearly that he did nothing wrong, I'm sure there were some shading dealings that led to the accusations. However, I do find it odd that we cannot cope with a figure who may be both good and bad. People often say that the best presidents are not particularly spectacular people. Why is it then, that when confronted by other such individuals, we are incapable of handling their character dichotomy? 

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