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A Lasting Assist welcomes you to follow our “pay it forward” movement chronicling inspiration and virtue. The storyline goes back many years, when a good deed led to the formation of MinneapolisNEXT, a nonprofit that provides opportunities and tools youth need to achieve their goals and pursue their dreams. One good deed can truly lead to another.

We encourage you to share this outreach with others for the gift without the giver is bare and we welcome the submission of warmhearted stories that will further our mission of promoting leadership and character.

The backstory

MinneapolisNEXT today

The NEXT scholars at our two partner high schools write leadership essays. The students' prose will be a regular feature.

 

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Honesty

Honesty is an important virtue to attain and a virtue that we should all continue to seek every day of our lives. The poem titled, “The Question,” tells us, “Seek honesty within yourself before you seek it in your neighbors (643)”. To be honest means to be real, genuine, and authentic. This is very important because if we want people to be honest with us, we need to be honest to others first, as honesty not only expresses respect towards others, but it shows self-respect as well. Honesty is so important in this world because it allows us to live in peace with one another.

This book points out that we should not try to achieve honesty just for the sake of others but to really, truly, be better people in this world. I really liked the poem, “Someone Sees You” because it teaches that an act of dishonesty is never truly hidden. When the man was trying to steal wheat from his neighbors he had his daughter as a guard to not get caught. The daughter kept telling him, “Father, someone sees you!” but the father did not see anyone. He gets angry at the daughter to which she responds, “Father, someone sees you from above.” This really connected with me because it is such a powerful sentence that reminds us that God is always watching what we are doing. Stealing or being dishonest is something that Jesus taught us not to do. I also enjoyed the story about the man who lost his ax, and when the woman offers him a gold ax he tells her the truth and she rewards him with three axes instead of one. I believe the virtue of honesty is powerful because it is everlasting and crucial to living a meaningful life.

-Eftrata

NEXT Scholar

A Reflection on Gratitude

In my life I have been given many opportunities to be grateful. I am grateful for all that I have been given, for others in my life, for opportunities we have been given, for the world we live in, and everything else that exists. Being thankful for everything is a principle I have been taught from a young age thanks to my Catholic upbringing. I have a lot to be thankful for: my parents providing me food, shelter, and love, a great education, the opportunity to partake in activities such as student council and theatre, friends who care about me, and a younger sister to experience life with, among everything else.

As a young child my parents would always remind me, “Don’t forget to say thank you!”  It is an important part of life: if someone gives you something or does something for you, you always should be grateful. Saying “thank you” soon became more of a force of habit than something I actually felt, and I continued with this mindset through much of my younger childhood: a meaningless string of please and thank you’s. It wasn’t until later, when I matured, that I realized the true meaning behind these words: the expression of gratitude for an unexpected (or expected) act of kindness.

We should all take a moment to remember the true meaning of a thank you. Additionally, we should pause to consider the power of a simple thank you. In today’s fast-moving “it’s all about me” society, gratitude for others can often be lost in the hunt for personal gain. A simple “thank you” or any token of gratitude can make a person and their work feel validated and valued. The sacrifice of others’ hard work, time, and money has allowed me to receive a great education and succeed in life. All of the opportunities I have been given deserve a tremendous amount of gratitude for those who have given me the means to accomplish anything. The Book of Virtues by William J. Bennett touches on the virtue of gratitude among others, and states the necessity of learning these virtues in one’s earlier years: “…the formation of character and the teaching of moral literacy come first, in the early years…” (p. 13). This shows that we should remember to teach our children gratitude- it will carry with them far in their life, and remind them of all they have to be thankful for.

-Parker

NEXT Scholar

Responsibility

Responsibility is not only one of the world’s greatest struggles; it’s also one of the most important goals. Without responsibility, the social contracts and agreements of governments all over the world would crumble into chaos. Responsibility requires people to not only accept the repercussions for their actions but also teaches people to respect themselves and others; to think twice before action. Everyone makes mistakes and without a sense of responsibility applied to those mistakes, no one would learn from them. The cost of responsibility is an important aspect of the world today.

Strangely, this year has been full of the cost of responsibility for me. I demonstrate leadership characteristics, and sometimes, people see me as such.  Being a leader means taking responsibility for things done and maybe things that were not done. During my time in Bolivia this summer, I was one of the seniors on the trip and I wanted everyone to have a good time. A couple of times I decided to take responsibility for things I said and things I did not say. During the school year, I am one of the captains of theatre and a co-captain of our step dance team and find myself in more leadership positions. A crucial part of the DeLaSalle community is unity. Unity requires strong relationships founded in efficient communication and compromise; it requires us to be “answerable” and accountable for our actions (p185). Each of these characteristics finds it origin in responsibility. Without this we would not have such great programs and I would not feel so prepared to be a leader.

The world would be a different place without responsibility. As a country and as a world, it is necessary that we keep this important virtue in our lives. Responsibility will always be a fundamental part of the DeLaSalle community and that will continue to make it great. Responsibility earns its importance by being honored in William J Bennet’s Book of Virtues. I will continue to honor this important virtue in life.

-Karina

NEXT Scholar