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Print Edition> Forum
UPDATED: May 27, 2011 NO. 22 JUNE 2, 2011
Is Wealth the Only Standard for Success?


Liu Yiming (http://tiexue.net): I don't agree with Dong. After graduation, not all of his students will become businesspeople. Even if they do, not all of them will be extremely successful. If they have tried their best but fail in the end due to bad luck, Dong shouldn't look down on them. As long as they have a decent career and can make contributions to society, they deserve the teacher's praise.

On the surface, Dong simply has higher expectations and wishes for his students, but the reality is that he is encouraging greediness and facilitating money worshipping.

Liu Shuwei (http://t.163.com): I'm a teacher myself and every lecture I give is all about money. But when I give the first class to freshmen, I always begin with some suggestions: You should never take the money you shouldn't; You can afford losing your job but not your freedom, so don't earn money by breaking the law. Some of my students get lucky and have high paying jobs in the first months after graduation, but I never set a goal for them on how much money they should earn. This will just make them lost.

As a teacher, if you only encourage students to earn 40 million yuan ($6 million) but never give them the reason for doing so, you can easily lead them down the wrong path, which is bad for students and society.

Huang Yiping (http:www.umiwi.com): I totally disagree with Dong's opinion. Is wealth the only standard for measuring success? No! I'd rather see that my students have ordinary but happy lives. My students are also quite ambitious but ambition doesn't necessarily mean big bucks. They can realize their dreams through academic research or even charitable works. Even if they have ordinary jobs, they are very happy with their life, and I would still be very proud of them.

Zeng Jin (http://www.hebei.com.cn): Measuring success only in terms of money demonstrates the prevalent "money education" under the circumstance of money worship. Cultivating students' awareness of wealth should be done properly and carefully. Dong's motivation will only push his students into the darkness of money worship.

Dong thinks that poverty for people with high education level means humiliation and failure. Also, he says in his microblog that there are no peasants in the rich list and people with low education level can only have low incomes. But the truth is, domestic and foreign rich lists are full of people with low education level. Statistics show that from 1999 to 2009, among the billionaires in China, 40 percent of them have low education level.

The essence of education will be changed if Dong's requirement for students becomes more popular in society, as it put money in the priority. Universities shouldn't just turn students into money-making machines but should give them the right attitude to money, society and life.

Mao Yingying (http://news.hebei.com.cn): Getting rich is not the only goal for education. If we agree with Dong's remarks, that money means value and poverty means humiliation, that's to say those researchers and scientists who make great contributions to society but do not live in fancy houses or drive expensive cars are losers. Imagine what kind of society it will become if everyone with a higher education takes money as their first priority.

As a matter of fact, Dong mirrored the real condition in many universities. Nowadays, if you become a celebrity, teachers and universities will think highly of you. But if you are just a "small potato," they will totally ignore you. Connecting money with everything and taking money as the only standard will twist the essence of college education.

If professors in universities can't give students the right standard of happiness and success and the right view of the world, whose humiliation is it even if they cultivate many rich people with high education qualification?

Xing Meizhi (China Youth Daily): Dong looks down upon his students when they are poor while Dong's students will look down upon their teacher as he is too snobbish.

Everyone has a dream to get rich, which is not necessarily bad. But if we think too highly of money and take it as the only standard for success, it will be a disaster for the country. A healthy society needs not only ambitious businesspersons and entrepreneurs but also scientists, researchers and common people. If Dong's philosophy is prevalent in Chinese society, it will be the saddest thing and the biggest humiliation for the nation.

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