Why it matters
They were little hands that were deeply embedded with dirt and the busyness of life. These hands were always busy as they played “tag”, as they helped to carry the dishes out to the rest of the orphaned children at dinnertime, and as they waved at friends. These hands were open and hopeful. These were the hands of a little boy that has become a part of my memories of hope and change, and watching these little hands at play reminded me of why this all matters.I have been a part of this dream called LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) for 8 years now. I have met thousands upon thousands of faces, and listened to countless stories, shared much laughter, and have seen much change. I feel like my life has been so filled with amazing people and memories that it is sometimes hard to remember each one. There are so many poignant moments and memorable faces that to pick one out is sometimes difficult. However, in March of 2008, while on a Hero Holiday trip to Thailand, we met a little boy named “Bo”, and he was a life that I cannot forget.Bo was one of over 100 children in a home in northern Thailand, where Hero Holiday was working, and he was the son of a young girl who was enslaved in a brothel. Bo had been rescued by the staff there, and in so many ways, his story was a common tale. He was about 7 years old, but he did not know his last name, he did not know where he was from, and he did not even know his birthday. Bo was rescued from a life of exploitation and pain, and from the first time we met him, we quickly realized that there was something really special about him. Bo had a toy top, with a long and dirty string, and all day long, as we were working on the building project or playing with the children, Bo would try so hard to make his top spin.It was a crude, well used toy, and it was hard to imagine how it could capture the attention of a young boy such as him. He would watch the other boys do it and he would try so hard to make his spin like theirs. He would lick his fingers and hold the string between them, and with all the strength and focus he could muster, he would release the top and watch in expectation as it would wobble and try to spin. Each time he did this, he would come running to one of our team members to see if we had seen him. Were we watching? Would we celebrate what he did, and would we celebrate him? Would we show him how special we thought he was? Bo just needed the reassurance that someone was watching out for him, taking notice of him, and valued him as he was. As I spent time with him and watched that top keep falling over time and again, I realized how privileged I was to be a part of this boy’s life. What an honor to be able to have the gift of his affection and trust.Since that trip, Bo has come to mean so much more to me: he has come to represent each life that we get to partner with in LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute). Through each of our programs, there are many people just like Bo, that we want to continue to impact and bring hope to. Bo has given more to me than he could ever realize. He has reminded me, time and again, why it matters. This all matters because each of us matters. One life may seem insignificant compared to countless masses, but one life is how it starts.Compassion is the radicalism of our time. ~ The Dalai LamaIf Bo’s story particularly touched you, please help us help more people like him by clicking here to make a contribution.**LiveDifferent (formerly Absolute) is supporting the orphanage in this story on a regular basis.