believe

3 Cups of Tea, We Are Family

I’ve been wanting to read, Three Cups of Tea since I picked it up last Christmas and I finally was able to work it into my schedule and I’m glad I did.

Tea is written by Greg Mortenson (the guy who the book is about) and David Oliver Relin, and the story begins when Mortenson was a child and how his family lived around the world and it is these travels and these experiences that set Mortenson up for his future adventure that is changing the world.

The challenge of any man, of all people, is to leave the world a better place than they found it. In a twist of fate, after failing in his climb up K2, Mortenson ended up in a tiny village clinging to life. The people there in Korphe saved his life. Upon his departure, he made a promise that would save both of theirs.

Mortenson made a promise upon his departure that he would come back and build a much needed school in Korphe. Korphe is in the northern portion of Pakistan, the part that bread the birth of Al-Qaeda. He journey is long and painful and with brief moments of sheer terror for the life of Mortenson.

Here (in Pakistan and Afghanistan), we drink three cups of tea to do business; the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and third, you join our family, and for our family we are prepared to do anything–even die.
-Haji Ali, Korphe Village Chief, Karakoral Mountains, Pakistan

The is a read you won’t want to put down and will surely inspire you to want to pick up a hammer and build a school yourself.

Learn more about Three Cups of Tea.

FOCUS: One Stream! (v2n21)

This Week’s Lesson
You will never be truly happy and successful unless you do things for other people.
-Less’s life lesson from Minot, North Dakota

Richard’s Thoughts…
Community service has often been called noble service. I started volunteering back in 1999 and now, ten years later things have changed. Not only can I volunteer in my own community, but we can help people all around the world with small and simple actions. That’s what One Stream is about. It’s about you and your neighbor. Your human neighbor. It’s about the power you have as one person at this spot of the stream, taking a positive action today to change the life of someone down the stream who depends on the sustenance of the stream, just like you. We are one. What happens to you, happens to all.

For one month, September 16 – October 16, 2009, we’re running a fundraising campaign. There are tons of ways for you to change the world. After all, we are all part of One Stream. I’ve created a team on Kiva, a micro-lending organization. In a nutshell, this non-profit collaborates with lending companies all around the globe to loan money to entrepreneurs in any country in the world. You get updates on their business and their family. The money goes to their business and so far I’ve personally helped a carpenter, a farmer, a person in the clothing business and others! The best part is you can get the money back after it’s repaid! Even better, if you choose, you can re-loan that money out again!

It starts with you my friends. Come with me! We are all at this One Stream. Let’s change the world. If you can’t donate money, donate time, it’s just as valuable and changes just as many lives.

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We are One Stream

We live in one world. Just one. Oftentimes it however it seems we live in many and can only affect the world nearest us. We live in our neighborhoods, then communities, then cities, then states, then nations, then our continent and then the world. But alas, it is one world we live in. What I do here in Kansas City affects what happens in San Fransisco and what happens in this country affects what happens in Bolivia and Turkey and Russia and Cuba and Pakistan… and on and on.

For one month, September 16 – October 16, 2009, we’re running a fundraising campaign. It’s up to you! There are tons of ways for you to change the world. After all, we are all part of One Stream. I’ve created a team on Kiva, a micro-lending organization. In a nutshell, this non-profit collaborates with lending companies all around the globe to loan money to entrepreneurs in any country in the world. You get updates on their business and their family. I hope you’ll consider a $25 loan. The money goes to their business and so far I’ve personally helped a carpenter, a farmer, a person in the clothing business and others! The best part is you can get the money back after it’s repaid! Even better, if you choose you can re-loan that money out again!

That’s what One Stream is about. It’s about you and your neighbor. Your human neighbor. It’s about the power you have as one person at this spot of the stream, taking a positive action today to change the life of someone down the stream who depends on the sustenance of the stream, just like you. We are one. What happens to you, happens to all.

People need to see that, far from being an obstacle, the world’s diversity of languages, religions and traditions is a great treasure, affording us precious opportunities to recognize ourselves in others.

-Youssou N’Dour

Now more than ever we have it within our capacity to change the world, one person at a time. You can change the world.

Ending extreme poverty is the great opportunity of our time. I disagree with that. I think there is more opportunity for us than just ending extreme poverty. It can be the great opportunity for us to bring quality education to every corner of the earth. It can be the great opportunity for us to bring healthy water to every unsafe stream in the world. It can be the great opportunity for us rebuild a new world. And it begins with us, right now.

If you can’t join our team on Kiva, take some time over the next 30 days to volunteer or donate a smaller amount of money to a cause you care about.

Whatever you do – it makes a difference! Also, I want to know about it. I want to share with everyone how much of an impact we make. If you volunteer for five minutes or five hours, or donate any money over these 30 days, please email me OneStream@RichardDedor.com (You’ll be kept private – promise!) and when the month is over, I’ll let everyone know how much of an impact we made on our world.

It starts with you my friends. Come with me! We are all at this One Stream. Let’s change the world.

Join & Donate to our Kiva Team!

Feel v. Believe

In life, you have a choice how you feel about things and what you believe. While I was campaigning for mayor of Mason City, one of my advisers had a tip for me when answering questions and sharing my vision. She said I couldn’t use the word “feel.” She said it is more powerful and impactful when you use the word, “believe.” I agree with her.

When it comes to your life, do you feel like you’re passionate about something, or do you believe that you love what you do and others enjoy your passion with you.

I believe I am a passionate person who strives to help others with their daily lives. I believe I’m a good athlete, even though my body tells me to not work it so hard sometimes.

My point is that when it comes to you, you have to believe and I urge you to use the word ‘believe’ more than the word ‘feel.’ Believe is so much more powerful, personal and decisive and when you’re talking about something you believe, you should be strong! Believe in you… you’re your captain, remember?

(photo via uglyagnes)

FOCUS: Be Your Captain! (v2n12)

This Week’s Lesson
Believe in yourself because you are stronger than you think!
-Laura P’s life lesson from Coralville, Iowa

Richard’s Thoughts…
Do you believe in yourself? You better! You’re the team captain, the motivator, the coach, the general manager and the team owner. It all rests on your shoulders. Now that you’re probably thoroughly weighted down with ambition and worry, remember this: if you believe in yourself, you’re already ahead of the game!

As I said last week, I was in my first art show last Saturday. It was an amazing experience to say nothing of a learning experience. I had a great time sharing the story of how the flower painting came to be and everyone seemed to enjoy hearing it. I spoke with many of the guests of the show and one conversation in particular put my feelings into perspective. The gentleman expressed how by making this my first art show, I was putting my heart on my sleeve, I was putting myself at risk and putting it all on the line. And boy am I glad I did!

When you believe in yourself, all things are possible. The sky seems bluer and the colors more vibrant. We are always stronger than you think you are. You are always smarter than you think you are. What do you want your life to be? What is your dream? Take the step this week and step in that direction. Believe in yourself… you always win when you do!

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