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If you give (a person) a fish, you feed (them) for a day. If you teach (them) how to fish, you feed (them) for a lifetime. — Chinese proverb

IN TODAY'S WORKSHOP... We considered how each person is an important member of a community. We explored our talents and thought about how we each can make our community and the world a better place. Today's central story focused on a community that worked together to help themselves and partners who respectfully helped them solve a serious water problem.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Talk about... the communities you and your children belong to. Do you have any photographs of their child dedication or similar ceremonies? Do you have photos, videos or any other evidence of your child's participation in or recognition by community groups?

Consider the difference between giving money and fostering self-sufficiency. Are there times when it is better to do one or the other? When is giving money giving someone a fish, and when is giving money teaching them to fish?

In your own family, how do decisions help your children grow more self-sufficient?



Research your congregation's affiliations with organizations that help people acquire new capacities or knowledge. Or, use a website such as GuideStar to find a local project you could join and could help someone grow in self-sufficiency. There are many literacy and tutoring organizations (for example, Everybody Wins ) and programs that match experienced moms as mentors for new mothers. Find something that would appeal to your family and make use of your individual gifts.


Spend some time thinking and talking about all the people who have helped you and your family grow and learn. If you are still in touch with them, create a thank-you note or make a phone call.


The story we heard today told how a community looked together at their most important problems and how they could solve them. They looked at their priorities for choosing problems to solve, and also looked at their resources for solving each problem. Consider your family as a micro-community. Is it time to examine your most pressing organizational problems and investigate your resources for solving them? If you want to talk with your family about making changes, Lynn Lott's book Chores Without Wars offers creative and fun ways to help everyone pitch in. The Flylady website is free and has helped thousands of families deal with clutter and other organizational challenges.

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