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Derek Lam

The Art of
“Sit up and take notice–that's the first step to supporting a cause.”
— Derek Lam
If you could change one thing about the world today, what would it be?
That we can move past all forms of racism. Don't we all know, by now: we are all the same on the inside, even if we are unique on the outside.
What is your favorite way to give?
I like to be consistent about supporting a cause—really make it a long term commitment. I also believe mentoring is another form of giving which is not monetary; it should be absolutely free and result from one's wanting to pay it forward … in the same way that I so abundantly received when I was young.
Who has been your greatest teacher when it comes to altruism?
My mother. She always said and led by example: to let my inner moral compass be my guide. She has said that whatever makes me healthy and happy is the road to honesty.
What is the biggest misconception about charity?
That it is about giving. I truly believe that the "giver" gets even more out of the experience than the recipient. It's like reverse charity!
What is your dream for kids today?
I want there to be a future in which our planet Earth continues to inspire us with its natural beauty. I am nervous that our near-future generations will not get to experience the incredible expanse and depth of the world.
What is your motto when it comes to giving back?
Stay true. Be as kind as you can afford!
What is the one thing you wish everyone can experience for him/herself?
Absolute, unadulterated love.
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