Seeing the Bigger Picture

Yesterday the Princeton, Minnesota, school district held an election. Voters were asked if they would support a bond referendum to build a new elementary school and make improvements to the high school. Twice before, similar referendums have been voted down, so the results were uncertain. Results came in last night at 1675 YES to 1069 NO. That’s 61% in favor.

Here’s how my friend Kathy Adams responded on FB: “This is great! My kids are graduating and I remember trying to do this when they were in 2nd grade and lower! This yes is for my grandkids!”

Exactly. We won’t personally benefit, but we want to use the resources we have to build a strong community for the next generation.

My husband is principal of the elementary school to be rebuilt, and he will certainly take great joy in being part of the building project. But by the time the new school opens its doors, he’ll be close to retirement. The work he does will benefit the next group of educators and the next generation of children. We’re setting them up for success because the future matters. I’m so glad to be part of a community of people who see the bigger picture.

I think this is the kind of thing Longfellow had in mind when he wrote “Psalm of Life.” Here are the last stanzas.

Lives of great men all remind us

We can make our lives sublime,

And, departing, leave behind us

Footprints on the sands of time;


Footprints, that perhaps another,

Sailing o’er life’s solemn main,

A forlorn and shipwrecked brother,

Seeing, shall take heart again.


Let us, then, be up and doing,

With a heart for any fate;

Still achieving, still pursuing,

Learn to labor and to wait.

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I am a Christian thinker, reader, and writer, who never travels without chocolate. See the “About” page for details.

3 Responses to "Seeing the Bigger Picture"

  1. Hope @ The Flourishing Tree says:

    Tracey — I love the Longfellow poem and the sentiments as they relate to building a new school. As someone who doesn’t have children of my own, I’m still an avid supporter of public schools. Stronger schools make for a stronger community, and everyone benefits. I’m reminded of the proverb: He who plants a tree loves others besides himself.

    The same is true of “they who build schools.”

    • Tracey says:

      Planting a tree is very much like building a school. I love this quote. Thanks for this, Hope. Your approach to life is true to your name!

  2. Britta says:

    Legacy. Something that deserves to be a deeper part of our culture I think. This post is such a beautiful picture of delayed gratification, persistence and serving and loving the generations and people to come behind us.


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