Recently I was reading through a magazine and two articles, one right after the other, emphasized to me what Dalat’s mission statement means (education for life founded on a biblical world view).
The first was an article about the National Football League in the United States. Men who make it to this level are always considered a “success” in life. The level of athletic prowess and skill needed to be on one of these teams is impressive. These athletes are rewarded with large salaries and hero-like status in the American culture. They are superstars and live the life of the rich and famous. Most in the North American culture would look upon them as “successful.” However, take a look at this statement from the first article:
78% of NFL football players are divorced, bankrupt, or contemplating suicide within two years of retirement.
There are a number of possible deductions you could make from this statement, but one that I took away from it is that becoming rich and famous does not guarantee that you will be a success in life.
The second article told the story of Pete Maravich who is considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. During his career he set over 40 different records and had a big impact on the way the game is played today. As I read the article about his life, the following quote jumped off the page:
“Money will buy you anything but happiness. . .” (Pete Maravich)
Once again we see someone who was at the pinnacle of athletics and someone who people would definitely consider a success. He had all the fame and fortune many people are striving for and yet he is straight forward in stating that money is not the proper measure of success.
An integral part of the Dalat DNA is that we do not gauge our success as a school, or the success of our alumni, based on the one standard of net worth. We believe strongly that success in life is not about what you get or how much you own but more about how you impact the world. Dalat is proud of the fact that close to 50% of our alumni have gone in to medical, developmental, teaching, and or pastoral/missions careers. These are the top 5 occupations of our alumni and all of them are about serving people and having a positive impact on the world.
Does this mean that Dalat is against people becoming rich and famous? Absolutely not. Did you know that we have a Supreme Court justice (State of Ohio), an off Broadway and movie actor, former Naval Base commander, and quite a few successful entrepreneurs who all are quite famous or rich? We are proud that they are part of the Dalat alumni family but as a school we do not hold them up any higher than the alumnus who is serving in Laos and working with orphans or the alumnus who is rebuilding areas of Manila devastated by recent flooding.
For Dalat “education for life” means that we teach our students how to redefine what it means to be successful, that we do not just use one standard when defining what that word means. If Dalat can do that, then we believe that we as a school have been a success.