In very roughly translated paraphrasing from ‘The Art
Whisperer’,  “Everything you do needs to come from the heart.

The past few days we were involved in a Creative Arts Camp
with the children at the home. It was an interesting mix of fun and games,
intense meditation leading into spurts of heartfelt art forms and even creating
musical instruments! Live Different sponsored the camp and, as part of our
contribution, we helped the kids with sketchbooks, which were used to express
themselves and share their stories.
One little boy I’ve spent a considerable amount of time with
these past few days is the most affectionate and enjoys the simple things—just
a cuddle, holding onto your arm and sitting together. One of our amazing translators,
Pim, was sitting with this little boy as we the children were working on their
sketchbooks. I asked her to translate and share with me about what he had
created and considered note worthy enough to save in his sketchbook….
Working on his sketchbook. 

We had the kids write down a few specific things in their
books—since the book was intended to be all about them we wanted them to share
their name and age, some of their happiest memories or stories, and to write
and draw pictures of what they want to be when they grow up. On top of these
few specifics, they could put anything they desired into the sketchbook. This
special little guy is 10 years old but hasn’t attended school, which means he
doesn’t know how to read or write yet. Pim was asking him questions and while
he was responding, she would write down his answers. Some of his happiest
memories are of fishing, shooting birds, and hanging out with friends. His
dream of what he wants to be when he grows up—he wants to build houses.

It’s interesting to think of what the future will hold for
this little boy. At 10 he hasn’t yet been to school, but still dreams so big.
At the home, the children are instilled with such value, such immense worth in
who they are, and that no dream is unattainable to them. Their peers encourage
them, the staff does as well, and no one they spend time with looks down on
them for their current skill set or current amount of education. Each child has
the world in the palm of their hands and knows that they can be anything they
want to be. I think about back in Canada and the amount of anti-bullying
campaigns that exist. To know peers are picking on each other, devaluing one
another, treating each other like garbage, is mind-boggling. No wonder there
are people out there who have no drive to succeed—they have been told their
entire lives they can’t. At the home with Kru Nam, the kids are being told they
can from the moment they come into the home. They are being encouraged by those
around them, lifted up instead of kicked down, and they are thriving. They are
succeeding, they are dreaming.
Oil pastels and pencil crayons make for lovely sketchbooks.

Everyone defines success differently. When I look at the children
and the work Kru Nam and her staff are doing, I think we can easily define
success as doing the right thing in every situation and doing those right
things, not with a feeling of ‘Ugh, I HAVE to do this’ or resentment, but doing
these things with a sense of love and compassion for those around them.  When everything is done from the heart, you
are bound to succeed because your success comes from the joy of seeing those
around you succeed. When you help others reach their dreams and goals, you are
being lifted up and positioned to reach yours as well. Just image, he wants to
build houses. Perhaps his dream is just one piece of the puzzle connecting him
with the other children in the home to also live out their dreams.

While this message of living life from the heart may be
difficult for some to grasp, the children in the home understand it more than
anyone else and are a shining example in all they do to the truth of the
sentiment. Living life with your heart in the lead means you will succeed,
because a life lived out of love cannot fail.