Monday, July 16, 2012

From goatherd to go-getter

We guess Joe Stiglitz hasn't heard about this guy;

In a hometown [in Tibet] without electricity, running water or modern medicine, [Lobsang] Dargey came into the world in the traditional way: on the first floor of his home, where the goats, sheep, pigs and cows lived.
"I was born next to a pig," he says.
....When he was 13, he says, his parents "saw something in me" suggesting he was destined for a life other than farming — so they sent him to a Buddhist monastery.
....At 18, Dargey left the monastery with several other monks on an epic 14-month journey, first to the holy city of Lhasa and then to India. The travelers walked most of the way, sleeping on the ground and begging for food.
In India while still a monk, he oversaw every aspect of construction of a boutique hotel for a Buddhist organization.
Now 38, Dargey recruits investors from China and other Asian countries. ....
In 1997, when Dargey came to the United States on borrowed money, his vision of his future was hazy. He thought about starting "a dharma center," or Buddhist community, but decided he didn't have enough English fluency or spiritual training and knew he would have to earn a living.
"When I got off the airplane I made a commitment to myself. Within five years I wanted to have a house and I wanted to have a green card. That was my goal," he said.
....His first job was painting an orthodontist's office in Federal Way, even though he now admits, "Technically I didn't know how to paint." But after navigating the 2 ½-hour Metro bus ride, with transfers, he did a job good enough to get other painting and handyman gigs.
....Dargey was still struggling with English when he applied for a sales job with Sprint. "We still laugh about the interview," said Kayla Schober, who interviewed and then supervised him. "I don't think I understood much of what he said or he understood much of what I said."
....Life took a turn when Dargey attended a fundraiser for the Marsha Rivkin Center for Ovarian Cancer Research, founded by Melissa Rivkin's father, Saul, in honor of her late mother. He met the center's director, Tami Agassi, and was smitten.
Dargey called her office, hoping to set up a date. She declined. He was persistent.
....After a year, Dargey wore Agassi down and she agreed to have lunch with him. Six months later they were engaged. If he had known at the outset she was the sister of tennis great Andre Agassi, "I probably wouldn't have asked her out" because of his misgivings about celebrity families.
The couple were married in 2004.
Sorry, Joe Stiglitz says we have a less mobile society than almost any other major country...and he has a Nobel Prize in Economics. 

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