Ecole Leduc Junior High School students may now have a slightly more positive outlook on the adolescent experience following a Live Different presentation at their school, Oct. 23.
“It’s a high energy, assembly-style presentation,” said Live Different road team manager Steve Klassen.
The presentation, while funny and entertaining tackled some serious topics pertaining to today’s youth, including confidence, self-esteem and the courage to make their own choices.
“This year’s theme is Own Your Story, become an author of hope,” said Klassen.
“You’re more than your thoughts and you don’t have to be trapped by a specific way of thinking,” he added. “We talk about the Negativity Bias, where we remember the negative during the positive.”
During the presentation the students learned human brains are wired toward the Negativity Bias, where people are pre-dispositioned to remember negative experiences over the positive. The Live Different group informed students it first developed as a defense mechanism to keep humans aware and alert of potential dangers
Live Different encourages youth to consciously change their perspective, and focus on the positive and the light, not only to improve their own lives but to become an inspiration in the lives of others.
Klassen was one of several guest speakers — including a girl who felt so alone in the world she wrote a letter that read similar to a suicide note and another girl who was diagnosed with leukemia — to tell their stories of overcoming negative thoughts and adversity.
Klassen told the students as a child he had been “quirky” and was mostly alright with being considered the weird one of his group of friends. “I really didn’t mind any of my uniquenessess.”
“For the most part I didn’t mind being the weird one with sweet friends,” he added.
However, as he and his friends grew Klassen began to notice they had less interests in common and he needed to make a decision whether or not to stay in his comfort zone, going unhappily along with his friends’ decisions, or branch out on his own to do what made him happy.
“Now doing this, I met people like me,” said Klassen.
As his confidence and positive outlook on life grew so did his impact on others. By Grade 12 Klassen was named student body president and class valedictorian.
Live Different visits approximately 70 schools per year and presents five days a week.