Theodore Roosevelt famously spoke of spending yourself in a worthy cause. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health recently found that, “If you have a higher sense of purpose in life, defined as having meaning, a sense of direction and goals, you are more likely to remain healthy and physically strong as you grow older.” Purpose informs and guides our actions. It gives us direction and focus. Purpose motivates us, drives us forward, and can provide us with the intrinsic reward of personal satisfaction.
The question then remains, what type of purpose or motive should we allow to drive us? Research has shown that both physical exercise and the pursuit of wealth and financial stability do bring happiness, but only to a point. Once we have secured basic needs and the point of diminishing returns is reached, higher levels of happiness and satisfaction are not obtained. Research also points to the role that positive relationships play in our wellbeing. It would seem that the highest levels of satisfaction and personal fulfillment come from dedicating oneself to a purpose larger than the individual. That could manifest itself in a variety of forms including participating in team efforts toward a noble cause, religious or social pursuits, or via philanthropic or volunteer work. In whatever form it takes, efforts toward making this world a better place bring higher levels of satisfaction than narcissistic or hedonistic behaviors.
Weatherford College changes lives. Collectively, we at WC have dedicated our professional lives to improving the human condition. We help students to earn an education and acquire the job skills necessary to provide for themselves and their families. The American Dream is alive and well at Weatherford College. Thanks to our generous donors and the valiant efforts of the Weatherford College Foundation, even students from backgrounds of extreme poverty can work hard and create a better life. A record number of athletic, academic, arts, and agricultural scholarships are expanding the educational opportunities of our students like never before. Being a part of the team of community members, donors, and WC employees, all dedicated to improving the human condition, is a very rewarding experience. A daily manifestation of the Presidential Core values of faith, hope, and love through action brings deep satisfaction to both the giver and the receiver.
To those who may feel trapped by the talons of our materialistic society, I invite you to join us in the service of others. I invite you to use your talents and abilities in the service of others, and to spend yourself in a worthy cause. If you have never felt the glory of victory while representing something larger than yourself, you have missed out on this variety of deep personal satisfaction. Whether you become active in our alumni association, become a donor, or simply give a student a few warm words of encouragement, I ask you to become involved in the good work of Weatherford College. Together, we are making the Weatherford College service area an even greater place to live and raise a family.
Tod Allen Farmer
President, Weatherford College