Leadership class ‘pays it forward’

Erin McGuire ‘14 gathers supplies to send to troops.

Erin McGuire ‘14 gathers supplies to send to troops.

Jessie DiBattista ‘14
Copy Editor

 

It’s 13 degrees outside, the wind is blowing in the crowded streets of Detroit, and people are hustling and bustling to buy presents for their loved ones. Cold snow is falling and the bells of the season are ringing. While walking down the street, you can see people are sitting huddled up trying to keep warm in the freezing weather, but very calmly a man hands one of the freezing citizens a warm drink then slowly walks away as if nothing happened.
Christmas. The time of the year where hearts are filled with warmth, colors are glowing, money is spent, laughs are shared, friends are smiling, and families are brought closer. Christmas is the time of year where everyone joins together to show love towards one another; however, in the eyes of many, Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. Giving back and paying it forward can dilute the stressful feeling for many.
The concept of paying it forward revolves around the idea of giving back and doing a little more for others. Also, this concept is a chain reaction. When one person pays it forward to someone else, that person now has the duty to do the same.
After watching the critically acclaimed movie “Pay it Forward,” the Leadership class at LCN has dedicated time to give back to others.
The movie is an emotional journey of one boy’s life when he came up with the idea to show random acts of kindness and how it can affect others to do the same.
This adventure shows the amazing courage of one boy’s idea, with a dramatic ending and heartfelt plot; this movie has inspired the Leadership class to begin their journey also.
“That movie made me cry, and now I will make sure I pay it forward,” Lauren Dostert ’14 said.
After watching the movie, Erin McGuire ‘14 had the idea to send Christmas care packages to the troops in Afghanistan. This includes her sister who is stationed in the Dand District, south of Kandahar Airfield. Since the troops fight for our lives everyday, the Leadership class thought it a good idea to give back to them, and to show their appreciation, especially during the holiday season.
“I think that everyone should pay it forward. It doesn’t have to be something big- something as simple as holding a door open can have a profound effect on someone’s life,” McGuire said.
Paying it forward doesn’t always mean changing someone’s life around, it is meant to show appreciation and care towards someone else, just making someone smile is the easiest way to pay it forward.
“I think it is so important to give back, especially this time of the year,” Leadership teacher Rosa Hough said.
The Leadership class is writing cards and sending food to the troops overseas.
“I am so blessed and I think it important to give back to others, just show others random acts of kindness and pay it forward,” Hannah Holeton ’14 said.
With the holidays being such a stressful time of the year, most forget to give back to others. The holiday season is not just about receiving; it is also about giving. Doing random acts of kindness for someone else can go a long way.
“Life is too short to not give back, and not all come together and be nice towards each other,” Hough said.
With a weak economy, it makes sense to give back to others and help one another.
“It doesn’t have to just be Christmas. It can be anytime of the year; just show someone that you care,” Holeton said.
Also according to the article, “Kindness makes you happy… and happiness makes you kind” by Alex Dixon, it proves that giving can make people happy.
“Two recent studies suggest that giving to others makes us happy, even happier than spending on ourselves,” Dixon said in the article.
A recent British study, talked about in the article, tested two groups of people for 10 days, one group that continuously gave back and showed kindness and another group that just acted normal and did nothing to give back. After the study, those who gave back and showed kindness tested happiest in a life satisfactory test as opposed to those who did not give back.
“I believe in karma, and I believe that if you perform good deeds, you will be repaid in the future for it,” McGuire said.
Here at LCN, many give back especially for the holidays. For example, English teacher Kitty Reifert and her husband donate money to charity instead of buying each other Christmas presents.
Also, the Leadership class is not the only group to give back and pay it forward, the Key Club at LCN is raising money for No Child Without a Christmas in fifth hour classes. This is a project they do every year as a competition among classes to see which can raise the most money.
It is 13 degrees in the windy streets of Detroit, as one man gives a homeless person a warm drink. It encourages that person to share their drink with someone else, continuing the chain reaction of paying it forward.