Essentialism at Dalat


Each year I spend time reading books related to the theme chosen for that school year. For the theme of “First Things First,” so far I have read a book called Crazy Busy and am now starting a second one called Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown.

In the book, a quote grabbed my attention as it leapt off the page and resonated with me – this is exactly what Dalat is trying to do. The interesting thing about the quote is that it is not by McKeown but instead a quote he uses from Peter Drucker.

Peter Drucker is an author, consultant, and educator and is considered to be one of the most influential writers on the topic of management and business leadership. During his lifetime he wrote 39 books which have been translated into 36 different languages.

So what was the quote that grabbed my attention? It is from an article Drucker wrote for the Leader to Leader Journal called “Managing Knowledge Means Managing Oneself.” In that article Drucker makes the following statement,

“In a few hundred years, when the history of our time will be written from a long-term perspective, it is likely that the most important event historians will see is not technology, not the Internet, not e-commerce. It is an unprecedented change in the human condition. For the first time – literally – substantially and rapidly growing numbers of people have choices. For the first time, they will have to manage themselves. And society is totally unprepared for it.”

Not only is this a bold statement to make, but also one that I believe could prove to be true. Our children are growing up in a world where their choices are unlimited — what they want to do with their lives, where they want to live, what jobs they will have (many choosing over 10 different careers during their lifetime), what to do with their time, etc. It is absolutely vital that schools, ones like Dalat that desire to prepare their students for life, make an effort to help them live in this life that will be full of so many choices.

That is what is at the core of our theme this year, “First Things First.” We’re focusing on the idea that our students need to learn how to make choices and how to prioritize their lives. Because if they don’t, they unfortunately will personally learn and experience the consequences of another statement found in the Essentialism book: “If you don’t prioritize your life, someone else will.”

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Dalat Director

Karl Steinkamp is passionate about Dalat International School and training up young people to make a positive impact on their world, walk with integrity, and follow Christ. Karl was a student at Dalat and returned with a degree in education as a student teacher, high school principal, and now Dalat Director since 2006.

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