So many people want to make the world a better place. It’s a noble goal: With billions of people around the globe living in poverty, over 780 million without clean water, and countless more that live in war zones, there’s a lot of room for improvement. But before we can change the world, first we need to change ourselves and we need to change how we live. In other words, we need to live different.
Thankfully, there’s already an incredible organization working hard to change how people live and change the world at the same time. Live Different is a Canadian charity that believes “the most important decision a person can make is to choose to live a life of compassion towards others.” While it offers a number of services, such as a cross-cultural academy and inspiring, motivational presentations, its main initiative is to take students and volunteers from across Canada on trips to places such as Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti to build homes, schools, and other types of buildings or infrastructure.
Live Different has built quite an impressive resume during its 16-year history. Throughout the organization’s lifetime, it’s given presentations to over 1.2 million students, mentored over 4,500 students, interns, and volunteers, and built over 400 homes, schools, and other projects.
I believe in the work that Live Different is doing to make the world a better place. I’ve been a longtime donor to the organization and I’ve gone on a number of building trips, and in 2006, I was fortunate enough to meet Vaden Earle, Live Different’s founder. Vaden is committed to building a brighter, more compassionate world, and he and I have worked closely over the years. In 2010, for example, after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, he and I visited the country to help rebuild and provide critical aid. Today, we’re collaborating on a book about our experiences there.
Working with Live Different and bringing change to communities around the world is always extremely rewarding. But with that being said, no feeling can compare to watching the young people and students on each trip react to the experience. They realize they have the power to make the world a better place, and many students even change their career aspirations so that they can spend the rest of their lives helping others. That’s part of what makes Live Different so incredible: It changes the lives of both people in the communities it serves as well as the people who participate in its programs.
For more information about Live Different, including how you can get involved, visit its website!