Recognition of the Power in Family:

Family, in every culture are building blocks for longevity in prosperity. Research indicates that families that work hard and work together are far more likely to avoid cycles of poverty than families where each member is functioning independently of one another. In cases where there is no interdependence within families, the level of achievement is inconsistent with a few family members achieving a reasonable level of success while other family members struggle to meet their basic needs. So, cultivating families that are collaborative, entrepreneurial, and willing to put in the time that it takes to scale a mountain of challenge in order to sit atop a pinnacle of success is a great place to start.

Reorganizing family unions to include workshops on business start-ups, financial literacy, investments, and other beneficial topics means that family members get to go home with something besides tee shirts and memories of bar-b-que and field trips. They can return home with renewed purpose and hope. If family members have successfully shared their skill sets with one another, they have been able to identify how they can support one another. They can work together to develop a strategic plan for the entire family and can allocate the workload among family members along with timelines. Technology provides families with communication pathways that are very accessible and very affordable. Some of them are available at no cost. The first hurdle that most family members will have to negotiate is coming to terms with the fact that some family members may be more equipped to make a significant contribution to the collaborative upward movement of the family than others. My advice would be to remember some basic guidance from the Word of God. When God blesses us abundantly whether in talent, finances, or a combination of both, He always intended that we would be a blessing to others. While it is true that there is more notoriety in strategically blessing individuals and organizations that will ultimately return those blessings in some manner, spiritually speaking, there is more weight placed on blessing those that may not be able to bless us as much or not at all. Yes, some family members have been irresponsible and are sitting in deep ruts of their own making. However, that does not absolve us of our responsibility to reach back and offer them a helping hand. If those family members fail to rally, the family members that are in position to move forward should do so. However, in alignment with the parable of the prodigal son, anytime that a family member is sincerely ready to do their part to solidify prosperity for the family, the rest of the family should welcome that person to the table.

How can a family respond to the current political environment? Again, utilize the time spent in family reunions wisely. Have fun, but also take care of business! Set aside time to meet for the purpose of discussing what is occurring in each of the regions where family members reside. Who are your major political stakeholders? How are they addressing the issues faced by family members? Is every member of the family registered to vote? If not, what can be done to get them registered? How can family members influence the outcome of elections in their communities? Who has health coverage? Who has gainful employment and who does not?

What can the family do to help support family members who are members of the working poor or cannot find work at all? What family members may be eligible for scholarships, and what can the family collectively do to start a scholarship fund to defray the amount of financial aid debt accumulated by family members? What family business or businesses have the highest probability of success based upon the combined knowledge, skill, ability, and financial assets within the family? All of these questions may not be addressed at one family reunion, but they can help to set the agenda for subsequent family reunions.

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