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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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Perseverance

The Book of Virtues contains many virtues of good habits. Perseverance is one of many great virtues. To me, perseverance means to keep going, to not give up, to strive until the end. Perseverance is important to me because I can carry out objectives easier. Taking my time to do my work well, and calmly doing something, is very important to me. Prior to the poem Solitude by Ella Wilcox, Bennett says “sometimes we persevere with help and compassion of friends and loved ones. Sometimes we have to do it alone (p552).” This quote stands out to me because to persevere takes a lot of effort and most of the time you need support from family and friends. Perseverance takes time, you need to try and try. In the story of The Little Steam Engine it describes how much work is put into one task; “She pulled, and she pulled. She puffed, and she puffed. She backed out and started off again (p530).” All the effort that is put into one task or obstacle takes patience and to keep going through with all that effort is perseverance.

Another quote that stands out to me is in the poem You Mustn’t Quit. “It may be near when it seems afar; so stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit. It’s when things seem worst you mustn’t quit (p536).” It stands out because no matter how hard things are, or seem, you shouldn’t quit or give up to get there. This quote is illustrated many life situations. No matter how difficult things seem to be, you shouldn’t quit. An example of a time that I had to persevere occurred when I was a part of a triathlon. I participated for the Cycle Health Triathlon. There was a course given to all the participants and I chose the hardest course. This course included running, biking and swimming and I persevered through the toughest parts of the course. It took a lot of effort out of me and I was out of breath well before the finish line, yet I kept putting my greatest effort forward. I kept going and going to reach to my goal, which was the finish line. I felt rewarded afterward and knew I had reached to the end. Perseverance is a great virtue to hold in your life.

-Liam

NEXT Scholar

Gratitude

As we approach the end of the year, it is important for us to take time out of our day to step back and reflect upon the many opportunities that we have been given. We can easily become consumed by the constant commotion of life and imminent deadlines, but we must never become so immersed in attempting to check off everything on our to-do list to the point where we lose sight of the big picture. The virtue of gratitude allows us to examine our present setting and establish an affirmation of goodness for the gifts that we have taken for granted. When we become caught up with the possibilities of “what could have been,” we can end up losing our sense of awareness of the actions that we have taken to grow ourselves into the people that we are now. Gratitude helps us focus on our contemporary surroundings and the events which have aligned to create the current state of our lives.

Acknowledging the achievement of character development encourages growth and ambition. A positive mindset, focused on growth, provides leeway for mistakes and understanding. We can try to be perfect at everything that we do, but we can never progress as individuals if we do not aim for goals that are outside of our comfort zone. At the end of the day, we can either let the past shut us off from new encounters or let it guide us to take an ambitious leap of faith. Even if what we had presumed to happen did not occur by our intuitive design, we should be open to alternative opportunities beyond our imagination. By embracing gratitude, we can become open to growth, learning, and new experiences.

-Diana

NEXT Scholar

Perseverance

Every day I find something that I need to persevere through; be it something little or something large. I believe that without perseverance I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now because the struggle of making it through life’s setbacks makes everything more enjoyable. Perseverance is a great way to show us that the things we really want in life should be worked for, and we need to understand that not everything in life is given, but needs to be earned. I believe I understand the importance of perseverance.

Perseverance isn’t always the greatest struggle, as it can be little things, but it is such an important virtue. In my case, getting out of bed every morning is a struggle. Waking up is not too hard, as I usually get up right when my alarm goes off, but the hard part is actually stepping out of bed and getting ready for my day ahead, especially when there are things I am not looking forward to facing. That’s the hardest part about getting up. I have to persevere and get out of bed to get ready on time. It shows me how that little struggle and my perseverance through it shows me that so little can accomplish so much.

Perseverance is, in my opinion, a key to everybody’s life. Without perseverance I’m confident people wouldn’t understand the importance of working for what they get. Parents should stress the importance of working hard to their kids, so that the kids learn this valuable lesson. This way kids, and their kids, will be working hard for everything they want. If people work harder for what they want they can understand truly how the “real world” works. On page 553 in The Book of Virtues it says, “Rejoice, and men will seek you; Grieve and they turn and go.” To me this quote means that people will surround you when you are happy, but may leave you when you aren’t. I think this can somewhat relate to perseverance, in the way that if people persevere for what they want they will be happier with what they get. When someone works hard for what they really want they will be happy that they worked for what they got. So in that way people will surround them since they are happy.

-Kobe

NEXT Scholar