We are deep into some serious fall foliage glory for Fall Break right now (too many pictures coming soon), but I’ve been thinking, as we have been surrounded by college kids here in Utah the last couple days (the college kids I know and also the ones I don’t), about the tremendous potential they have to make contributions in the world.

Oh, they will make them in such a vast variety of ways depending on their interests, but isn’t that just so cool to think about? All these branches heading off into different avenues of the world and the POWER they have to make a difference.

Do they know it, that power they have? Or does it take years to understand?

Probably different for everyone, but it’s a beautiful thing.

My cousin told me a story the other day of two friends in high school and how one asked the other to “pinky promise” her that he wouldn’t get caught up in the drugs and alcohol his friends were starting to dive into (he had no religious “guidelines” pushing him that way). And that friendship was so strong that he was loyal to that promise. All these years later, he is still holding true to that promise he made as a fifteen-year-old.

Will that girl ever really understand the power of that seemingly small contribution?

I don’t know, but there is so much power right there.

I think it is the goal of most parents to raise their kids to be contributing members of society.

And this week, the In the Arena with the Eyre Sisters podcast episode is about just that: the word CONTRIBUTE and what it meant to our family growing up…and what it has evolved to mean for each of our own families.

I have talked about our family motto here on the blog before:

Our Family Motto

(That post includes the one we grew up with as well as the one Dave and I have hanging in our own house.)

On the podcast this week we are delving into the “contribute” part of the Eyre family motto. (The “broaden” part is back HERE from last week…and you can find this week’s episode HERE.)

If you listen, you will get all our thoughts, and hear more of the background, but I want to reiterate what we say there: we are sure still trying to learn this stuff.

There was a great comment on the @eyresisters Instagram account last week after the “broaden” episode from a mom who taught her kids kindness as a way to “broaden” their minds. I loved it and think it’s so applicable to the “contribute” portion of the motto as well. We can contribute so much through kindness as well as all the other things we talk about on the episode.

Anyway, lots of things I’m thinking about and just wanted to share some of them.

Here are some links from what we talked about:

Ways to introduce children to humanitarian efforts:

Children for Children Concerts

Books to read for global awareness:

Thirst, Kisses from Katie, The Promise of a Pencil

The Moment of Lift

Where the Wind Leads

Nothing to Envy

Left to Tell

The Hiding Place

A Place for Us

Oh there are SO many more that I’m sure I’m just not thinking of today!

There is a list of organizations we have worked with for global humanitarianism in the show notes, but I know many have asked for them before so I’m including a list here as well:

CharityVision (blog post HERE, HERE, and HERE)

Rising Star in India is HERE and HERE and HERE

One of the OSSO blog posts is HERE.

Family Humanitarian (blog post HERE).

Cambodian and International Children Friend Community (CICFO) which I talked about back HERE.

Families Helping Families (blog post back HERE).

(I know some people are worried about humanitarian efforts like these, and we do address that on the podcast.)

OK, in closing, let’s just take a quick peek at some fall leaves.

Because I can’t leave without a picture.

Those leaves are sure “contributing” to my happiness right now!

Happy weekend!


p.s. Some people are still asking how to find the podcast easily…you can find it on any podcast app when you type in “In the Arena with the Eyre sisters” or go HERE and it will show a whole punch of podcast apps you can chose to listen from. And please rate and also share your own ideas about how to teach kids to contribute on Instagram. We so appreciate any feedback we get!

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    1. I will never “cut the cord” with my children. It is as binding as the DNA we share. It has stretched to Korea, Alaska, and the war in Iraq. It doesn’t mean that my kids aren’t independent, or are too dependent on me. It is our hearts that are bound to one another.

      The great thing about parenting is we get to choose how and what we do. To that end, we should all be supportive of one another when we are truly trying our best.

      1. Making them “contributing” isn’t a typical adult child to adult parent loving relationship. Sounds like people guilty they have money and they should not feel that way. Or making sure the kids don’t demand any of it. Sounds manipulative. Sounds like a major boundary being crossed to expect to guide an adult child who is moved out and married with no special issues. Were their own parents so invasive when they became adults? They all had families half the size it will seem a lot more pushy if they do they same. There is no “parenting” of adult kids capable of college and able to enter into marriage or accept a mission assignment. All this early sending them off to travel by themselves and work at unique positions in foreign countries before they are old enough, this notion of parenting them after they are no longer parent-able is bizarre. This focus on public perception of perfection of multiple generations in a family is not healthy. The pressure does not end at 18, college, mission, marriage, job, becoming a parent.. I feel bad for them all. A lot of what is public seems enviable but quite scary as well. Is there some fear that an adult child will not appear to be perfect and reflect on the parent? Not doing enough with a career, not a high enough church calling, not enough education, not traveling enough, not living unique enough? There must be some motivation.

  1. I love that you are so able and willing to BE with your kiddos when you can. I so wish I could see my family as often as your family does! Such relationships should never be taken for granted. Thank you for sharing your brave intentional parenting. ❤️

  2. Thanks for sharing! I just ordered “Thirst” and “The Promise of a Pencil” … I think I and my kids will love reading these! Rippling your “contributions.” 😉 And thanks for sharing the other resources. It’s such a gift to help our kids learn to get outside of themselves. I think service contributes to people forgetting about themselves and reaching across to unite the world in our common conditions and hopes! I love the opportunity to learn and serve, it is free-ing and joy-filling! It fills the world with more hope and more love. Your podcast reminded me of this talk from years ago, that I’ve never forgotten… https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2017/10/the-needs-before-us?lang=eng
    I especially love her thought: “Heavenly Father may have placed those who need us closest to us, knowing that we are best suited to help meet their needs.” We help each other, especially in our own homes… Thanks for sharing!

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