“Failure” “Failure,” chapter one, in “Three Cups of Tea,” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, tells about a man’s compassion and determination through life, and the obstacles that would ultimately lead to his failure. Greg Mortenson was born into a compassionate family that greatly cared for the welfare of others. Being a kind man who loves his family, he maintains a close relationship with his sister, Christa, who suffers from frequent seizures.
Mortenson, twelve years her senior, appointed himself her protector. After his sister’s untimely death, Mortenson sets out on an expedition to scale the second highest Summit in the world, and in order to honor his sister’s memory by leaving her necklace at the peak. During his journey to the top, Mortenson without hesitation assists in the exhausting rescue of a fellow mountaineer, Etienne Fine. After the rescue the severe and treacherous conditions had left him weak and unable to go on.
Due to this selfless act Mortenson is forced to give up his dream to reach the top, when he was merely 600 meters away. He goes on to describe his experience as agonizing, his deep wounds from the rescue unbearable, and his painful night of sleeping on jagged uneven rocks alone. He States, “It was his body that had failed, he decided, not his spirit, and every body had its limits” (16). Mortenson’s restrictions had altered his determination; and though he had failed he had learned a lot about his own mental and physical limits in life.
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