Always Be Thankful!

Perfection is hard to describe but I guess it’s in the eye of the beholder. However I think I can speak for everyone when I say that our build week was nothing short of perfection.

My name is David and together with a group of awesome New Zealanders, two of Barry’s Bay’s finest, and my friends in the academy program we built a house! Every day we woke up more excited than the next. With each passing day it meant it was one day closer to dedication day and one step closer to our ultimate goal of handing the keys to Alfonso and his beautiful family of eight.

The build started off on a positive note when we arrived to see the family and their faces beaming with excitement! Everyone was eager to work so we all split into groups. Duncan, Alex and I decided to do the job that no one else really seemed to be jumping for. Our job for the first two days was focusing on digging a baño hole. In case you don’t know what that is, a baño is a place where people poop. The ground was hard and the work was exhausting but often when one person crawled out of the hole drenched in sweat they’d say “This hardly feels like work, I’m having so much fun!” Before starting this build I thought there would be some tasks that weren’t particularly ‘fun,’ but I couldn’t have been more wrong! Everything we did, no matter how hard the task or how dizzy you got from kids asking you to spin them around was incredible feeling. I don’t think building the house was work at all because I think it’s impossible to feel that incredible while working.

There was one night were it rained really hard and I woke up with an uneasy feeling. I was sleeping warm in bed with three blankets and a roof over my head. Why doesn’t the family we are building for have those same rights? Last night they had to sleep in a house made of cardboard and plastic bags. We had to put off building for the morning to give everything a chance to dry out. When it came time to go back you could tell that everyone was ready to give it their all. I like to think everyone gained motivation from the rain. We were determined to give our family the right to a warm dry place to sleep. In about three hours we went from a concrete pad with a couple of walls on it to a standing house equipped with a roof and windows! The unreal feeling continued into the next day when we finished the house. Before heading back to our place we all took turns admiring what we had done.

The final day there will forever hold a spot in my heart. After packing the house with mattresses, clothes, toys, soaps, food and so much more we were all ready to hand the key over. Alfonso came out of his old shack with tears in his eyes as he and the rest of his family walked to their new front door. Before giving them the keys Kent said “We built you a house. Now it’s time to make it your home” My heart was racing when they opened the door. It wasn’t long before everyone crowded in to give the family hugs and thank them. They truly are deserving of this house and I’m glad I got to be a part of such an amazing week! If I had to describe this whole experience I would call it perfection. Whenever it rains I smile because now our family will always be safe and dry 🙂
Always be thankful!
David – LiveDifferent Academy Student, 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: March 10th, 2013

Making Music and Making a Difference

My name is Philip, and I’m the lead singer/guitarist of Quebec rock trio The Sound Approach. For the next four months, I will also be a member of Team 1 of LiveDifferent’s motivational productions division, which means I will be going from Ontario to Newfoundland (and everywhere in between), spreading a message of purpose and hope in Canadian high schools. So, only a few weeks & half a dozen shows into the experience, what are my first impressions? Here are some thoughts.

LiveDifferent is about being a part of something bigger, about being connected with the world. Just like making music. Music is universal, because it’s part of the universal human experience. As a band, we have always strived to ‘musically’ tap into that experience, to connect with people at an intimate level, and then use that connection to be an uplifting force, (I’m no fan of negative or hateful music). Making music involves drawing on your own life experiences and emotions, only to find that everyone around you is experiencing the same things but in a million different ways. Ever heard a song, and you could swear it was written about you or what you’re going through? I love music.
But where music is often but a form of art, LiveDifferent is a form of action. I took a semester off from university, (with only 10 credits remaining in my degree), missed out on graduating with the rest of my class, left my wonderful girlfriend behind for four months, and for what? It’s not for the pay, (we sign up on a volunteer basis)! Long days rehearsing, early mornings galore, eight hours of work and travel for a one-hour show, setting up and tearing down and loading up and tearing down the same stage day after day, and for what? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s for the sake of making a difference, of being a part of a movement that actually changes lives every day. The impact is real. LiveDifferent gives ME the opportunity to contribute to this greater cause, not just as a band or a musician, but as a person, as a human.
I went to high school, I know how impossibly crucial those years are when it comes to self-esteem, finding one’s identity, fitting in, relationships, etc. To be able to be a part of these presentations, which are expertly produced, well-delivered, moving, and hilarious all at the same time, and to bring them to students in their very own school, is such an awesome experience. The presentations recognize exactly where students are, and offer them inspiring messages of encouragement and hope.
You might have noticed that I haven’t been talking about myself or the band that much, and that’s because we’re not the main focus here!! We fix our eyes on the greater purpose, and we are honoured to use the gifts we have in order to contribute to this movement. Just as every person has value and purpose, every person on our team has an invaluable and important role and I am grateful for each of them. I urge all of you to strive to be part of something bigger than your own experience, it’s incredibly fulfilling!
The Sound Approach, as a band, as musicians, as people, will do all we can to stay true to this cause and to make the best of every minute.
Philip, LiveDifferent Team 1, Spring 2013

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: March 7th, 2013