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Brian Canavan

Glasgow, Scotland

Extrovert

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Eight years ago when Brian Canavan found himself mentally exhausted, stressed, and unhappy, he decided to leave behind a high-paying job and pursue a new life.

Our witty, cheerful ambassador from Glasgow woke up one day to realize something that his family had always shown him as a young boy.

quote-open“Kindness was a part of being human, a part of my upbringing. My family wasn’t too well off compared to a lot of other people here, but if you had something, you shared it.”quote-close

At this grave point in his life, Brian realized that when you get caught up in the hassle of your day-to-day life of paying bills, you often easily forget what you have, compared to so many others. He slowly came to find that by helping others, he was in turn helping himself.

He began stopping in the street to talk to a lot of homeless people around him. He believed that even if you had no money to offer, it was worthwhile to just say “good morning” and ask them how they were coping. It mattered to stop and show someone that they were not invisible.

“There was one chap I used to see where I park my car. I saw him sketching one day. I asked ‘How are you?’ and gave him a few pounds. He’s a brilliant sketch artist! There was another guy who loved reading psychology books, not something you’d expect to see a homeless person doing. The more you speak with them, the more you realize how these people are here because of bad luck.”

Brian discovered Life Vest Inside through the Kindness Boomerang video and decided that he liked what the organization did. He joined the Kindness Ambassadors and began doing what he could for the LVI Kindness Ambassador (KA) community.

“It was like being part of a big family of people looking out for each other, and for the rest of humankind. The job I do now is similar, I coach people.”

Brian, who currently runs his own life coaching center, believes that sometimes when you are stressed and depressed, you won’t be able to see any good in humanity. It helps to see people out there trying to make a difference. He found his way through talking to people who are homeless and feels that the more we do it, the more we set that example of people seeing an act of kindness, the more likely they are to pick it up.

“I will coach up to three people who normally can’t afford it. When you know that someone is struggling, you just talk to them. I’ve even done a few through LVI, coached a couple of people just because they needed to make a decision. I get a lot out of this, get to speak to people from all over the world.”

Brian thought that getting along with people was a part of life. He didn’t realize that kindness was now a movement. It was always his philosophy of life as he was brought up in a massive, Catholic family who had very little money but still adopted kids to raise.

“The people who have inspired me the most on my kindness journey are my mother, who would bend over her back to help someone, she’s always been that way; My father-in-law in terms of kindness and his general demeanor; and my wife. My wife is a nurse who has dedicated her life to helping people.”

Eight years later, Brian finds himself joyful, happy to help others, and a beloved member of the Kindness Ambassador family.

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– Interviewed by Soumya John

Soumya describes herself is as a writer. She writes for love, for healing, and for hope, which also happens to be what she would call the central theme of her life! As a Blog Guru at Life Vest Inside, she hopes to give words to the magic of kindness that is slowly, but most certainly, taking over the world!

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MY PERSONAL GOAL:

To rid the world of work related stress and to make my family happy.

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FUN FACTS:

He was the guitarist in a Trash Metal Band called Fatal Blow at the age of 17/18.

One word to describe herself:
Extrovert