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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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Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is an extremely important virtue; and it may even be the most important virtue because it is so extremely necessary for success. People who are gifted in self-discipline are able to overcome their weaknesses and pursue what they think is right. Being self-disciplined is extremely rewarding because it helps to prioritize everything in life and allows you to get work done more efficiently. Many people who are self-disciplined are able to turn away from things that they know are wrong and are able to follow what they know to be right. These wrong things may be cheating on homework in school, or much more serious and long-lasting things, such as drug use. Self-disciplined people are able to rise above from anything that will hold them down because they know how to make the right decisions.

In my life, I have found that I have very good self-discipline. I am a very hard worker who is very focused on my education and schoolwork. In school, I could take the easy way out and cheat on assignments, but my self-discipline helps me to focus on what is right and not make the wrong decision. I know that I should do my own work so that I learn the material. Being able to do all of my schoolwork takes a lot of self-discipline because there is simply such a large amount of it, however, I know it is the right choice to complete all my homework so I can get better grades and learn more from the rigorous classes. As Bennett says in the introduction of The Book of Virtues, “Remember, virtues for the most part lie in our actions and good deeds, not just good thoughts and intentions”. I completely agree with this quote because in order for me to be self-disciplined, I have to act on the virtue and not just think about it.

-Lauren

NEXT Scholar

My Personal Faith Journey

“The miracle of ordinary things fill children’s worlds. They sense, as Woodward phrased it, the ‘intimations of immortality’ we too often neglect as adults”.  This excerpt from The Book of Virtues reinforces the idea frequently repeated in the Bible concerning how we must remain childlike in order to receive the Lord. As we grow older, our minds begin the struggle to explain mysteries in our lives. With each year it becomes more difficult to rely on God to take care of our problems and to let go of the unknown. Children are easily able to accept truths at face value with an unwavering loyalty to God; a force we cannot see. We must become similar to children, and rely on God to oversee our lives, and solve our problems.

One of the most difficult struggles I have gone through is my lifelong battle with anxiety. I was an anxious kid, an anxious preteen, and now an anxious adolescent. I have always had issues with feeling in control of my own life, and have an abundance of self-imposed pressure on my shoulders. As I began to strengthen my faith, I found comfort in the Bible, and my faith community. William J. Bennett has strong beliefs that we must receive God in a childlike manner in order to have a stable, fulfilling relationship with God. I continue to work on my relationship with God on a daily basis, working towards giving up my anxieties to God.

Faith is a personal, unique, lifelong journey dedicated to strengthening your relationship with God. It involves giving up your control in order to allow the divine power of God to act in your life. If we are to be open and ready to receive God’s power, that is to act in our lives. Children are the example; they set the standard for the open, curious approach we are to have towards the Lord.

-Sarah

NEXT Scholar

Honesty

Honesty is like the sword in the stone. For some, it comes easier, but for most it is difficult and hard to maintain over time. Honesty is often a difficult virtue to uphold as it relates to others, but it is often also very difficult to uphold this virtue with ourselves.  Being honest with ourselves is often very difficult, as it is easier to lie to ourselves and try to create our own reality than it is to live with the truth. Although it is hard to uphold the virtue of honesty, both to ourselves and to others, it remains very important and live an honest life.  

When people say that the truth hurts; it is often true. No one ever said that being honest was easy or comes without pain, but it can also hurt us if we do not tell the truth. The age old story about the Boy Who Cried Wolf teaches us the importance of honesty. We often forget those kinds of stories because of how simple they are, but the messages are so powerful and often hold the best lessons.

It is hard to be an honest person throughout your life, as there are often situations that come up where it would be easier to be dishonest in the short-run. It is hard to stand by what you believe to be the truth and it is hardest to acknowledge those who do not always use the truth. In this day and age it seems to get increasingly more and more difficult to recognize what is true and what is not true. It can be hard for us to comprehend some truths, and that is something that comes along with being honest.

The poem “Truth Never Dies” explains how truth is something that will always be around. Even when people mock and joke about it, even as it is forgotten and ignored; it is always there. This is so important to remember; truth always exists. We sometimes forget to use truth and honesty in our lives, but the more we can work to be honest and truthful, the better off we will be as a person.

-Maddy

NEXT Scholar