Personal Sacrifice

Lane Headshot (small)Congressman Emanuel Cleaver shared an experience as a young man that resulted in a powerful lesson for him. The tradition in Rev. Cleaver’s family was that washing dishes following dinner was rotated among his siblings. His number came up on Thanksgiving day. The table was set with his grandmother’s prized china. In an effort to be as efficient as possible, young Emanuel decided to utilize the tablecloth to carry the all dishes into the kitchen. The quicker the dishes arrived in the kitchen, the sooner he would complete his assigned task.

Young Emanuel folded the tablecloth carefully around the china and proceeded on his way. After only a few steps his strategy began to fail as the load became too heavy. You can imagine what occurred next! Emanuel found himself at the bottom of a pile, with grandmother’s prized china crashing to the floor. Grandma ran into the room, thinking first of Emanuel’s safety, then of her prized china. Emanuel expected a thrashing and yelled out “I am so sorry! The dishes were too heavy!” Grandmother, realizing Emanuel was ok, but her china was destroyed replied, “Emanuel, just because the load is heavy, doesn’t mean you can drop it!”

“Just because the load is heavy doesn’t mean you can drop it!” The load of raising our children and ensuring each child receives a quality education can sometimes feel very heavy. Grandmother’s wisdom reminds us that we must find a way to continue on, no matter the weight of our burdens. It is in this spirit that I want to thank the employees of KCKPS, who are sacrificing personal income as a part of the district response to the most recent reductions in funding for our schools.

KCKPS lost $2 million in the move to the Block Grant system of funding public schools in Kansas. This is before factoring in any increased costs for health insurance, utilities, etc. After seven years of reductions (totaling $56 million in KCKPS), we are forced to furlough (days off without pay) employees as many as four days this year, in order to prevent further cuts to our educational programs. In other words, our employees are carrying the burden caused by the state’s failure to adequately fund public schools.

I want to express my appreciation to the employees of KCKPS, who carry a very heavy load, all the while remembering that “just because the load is heavy, doesn’t mean you can drop it!” It’s Up to Us!

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4 Responses to Personal Sacrifice

  1. W. Richard Siebs, EdD says:

    Dr. Lane
    I am a retired educator having spent 44 years as a teacher (9), counselor (6) and principal (29) in both parochial and public education. I believe in the importance of both. But, most importantly, I believe that “all kids count” and are entitled to a quality education. To provide such an education demands commitment, sacrifice, vision, perseverance and consideration for all parties involved. You are providing extraordinary vision and leadership that I deeply admire. The quote that you use exemplifies what I see in your leadership, it may be a heavy load, but YOU are not going to drop it.

    My best to you and all that you undertake for the good and needs of your kids.

    Peace and prayers!

    • Cindy Lane says:

      Dr. Siebs,
      Thank you for your service to our profession. As you know, the American dream relies on investing in high quality education, not just for some, but for each and everyone of our students. I shudder to imagine what might occur if we decide the “load” is to heavy, and we step away from our fundamental commitment to quality education for all of our children and youth. “It’s Up to Us!”

  2. Nigus Tyler says:

    I really admired the quote “just because the load is heavy, doesn’t mean you can drop it!” We are all facing many challenges in life. Some of them are heavy to carry or too hard to solve it alone. Personal sacrifice is big thing to benefit the others from it.

  3. Cindy Lane says:

    How do we teach our children about personal sacrifice in a world of instant gratification?

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