Monthly Challenge for December

Theme: Inward Activity ~ Building the Family

Conceptual meaning: We teach the life we live. Therefore, a path must be developed and understood in order to determine our sense of direction, our projections and our awareness of fostering healthier development in a mental, social, physical and moral context. We influence lives daily, but the challenge is to increase our efforts of guiding and inspiring the total family.

Confucius stated: “To put the world in order, we must first put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must cultivate our personal life; and to cultivate our personal life, we must first set our hearts right.”

The Focus: Constructive critiques play a role in evaluating the impact of our imprints along the path.

This month, embrace the joy of winter and significant holidays associated with the season. Let us listen not only to our words, but also to the echoes of our words as applied–which will indicate the degree to which we have enhanced the lives of others in measurable ways. Equally, we must engage by asking questions as we speak and work to encourage others through positive dialogue. We must influence conditions and empower young family members. We must promote conversations of profound meaning with complementary actions that equate to improvements. This is a month of passion to learn and infuse growth!

In the words of Winston Churchill, “There is no doubt that it is around the family and the home that all the greatest virtues, the most dominating virtues of human society, are created, strengthened and maintained.”

The Tasks, and Make It Personal:

These may be performed independently or with select family members. Each week, you are challenged to engage in one of the following activities or a similar event and assess your intentions and your achievements.

1. Share conversation and a warm cup of tea with an elder member to capture the family history, successes and challenges. Then, determine what you will do with that knowledge.

Assess the mutual impact and how you can be of greater service within the family.

2. Share a shopping trip with a distressed family member or perform a supporting task as he/she raises his or her family. Question the mutual insight gained from the experience and work to maintain a constructive and supporting relationship.

3. Share a momentous time with small children within the family – those who are isolated, ill, or simply just wanting to play, but use this time constructively. Weigh your patience and determination to be a long-term mentor. Be a source of insight and grace.

4. Take time to guide a young adult on his/her path of personal and professional growth. Identify ways to strengthen your knowledge and ability to groom others to reach worthy goals.

5. Be a life-long candle of hope, guidance, and assistance for younger members of your family, including those who may have taken an undesirable path in life.

Assess causes and effects of this chosen path, and the potential roles you can play in the prevention process.


Take an inventory of what impact you have made within your family during the past twelve months. Identify areas where you facilitated growth, provided encouragement, and aided others. As you reflect, look at how you can improve in order to be a strong point this month and in preparation for an industrious New Year.

This month, conduct weekly assessments of your thoughts, the ways you project to reach a particular audience, exchange action-inducing information and influence outcomes. Understand the short term and long-term implications of your words and actions.

Solicit feedback from family members as well as others who observe your output. Seek to gain a greater clarity of your efforts. Question the key words of awareness, trust, respect, appreciation, and affection, to ensure your actions are aligned with what you promote. This will enable you to be more conscious of the consequences as you strive to be of greater value on extended projects that enhance the conditions within your family.  

George Bernard Shaw said that “Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to this country and to mankind is to bring up a family.”

The Benefits:

1. One will gain a grander understanding of the family, to include the beauty and challenges by investing a little time to connect with family members in fulfilling ways. Be consistent!

2. One will pay closer attention to being solution-oriented as opposed to being a member of the back-seat quarterback squad. Today forward, ensure your observation is complemented by profitable action. Be steadfast!

3. One will find that he or she is able to encourage family members in a profound way through investing in the development of their knowledge and skills. Develop enthusiasm!

4. One will develop a habit of creating precious memories through acts of consciousness, achievement, love and kindness. Think progress!

Growth Resources:

** What Makes a Strong Family Successful? Retrieved at

** Improving Communication – Developing Effective Communication Skills. Retrieved at

** Effective Communication. Retrieved at

** Core Competencies for Youth Service Professionals: Guiding Youth Employment. Retrieved at 


“My current location is not my desired destination, but I find peace in today. My network of navigators and career landmarks shaped my disciplined drive to educate, guide, and empower others – as many have invested in me. I am determined to elevate members of my family and community, for this I pledge to thee.”  – Joe Shakeenab