A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her
seniors in high school by telling them the difference
they each made. She called each student to the front
of the class, one at a time. First she told each of
them how they had made a difference to her and the class.

Then she presented each of them with a blue ribbon
imprinted with gold letters, which read, "Who I Am
Makes a Difference."

Afterwards the teacher decided to do a class project
to see what kind of impact recognition would have on a
community. She gave each of the students three more
ribbons and instructed them to go out and spread this
acknowledgment ceremony. Then they were to follow up
on the results, see who honored whom and report back
to the class in about a week.

One of the boys in the class went to a junior executive
in a nearby company and honored him for helping him
with his career planning. He gave him a blue
ribbon and put it on his shirt. Then he gave him two
extra ribbons and said, "We're doing a class project
on recognition, and we'd like you to go out find
somebody to honor, give them a blue ribbon, then give
them the extra blue ribbon so they can acknowledge a
third person to keep this acknowledgment ceremony
going. Then please report back to me and
tell me what happened."

Later that day the junior executive went in
to see his boss, who had been noted, by the way, as
being kind of a grouchy fellow. He sat his boss down
and he told him that he deeply admired him for being a
creative genius.

The boss seemed very surprised. The junior executive
asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue
ribbon and would he give him permission to put it on
him. His surprised boss said, "Well, sure." The junior
executive took the blue ribbon and placed it right on
his boss's jacket above his heart.

As he gave him the last extra ribbon, he said, "Would
you do me a favor? Would you take this extra ribbon
and pass it on by honoring somebody else? The young
boy who first gave me the ribbons is doing a project in
school and we want to keep this recognition ceremony
going and find out how it affects people."

That night the boss came home to his 14-year-old son
and sat him down. He said, "The most incredible thing
happened to me today. I was in my office and one of
the junior executives came in and told me he admired me
and gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius.
Imagine. He thinks I'm a creative genius. Then he put
this blue ribbon that says: "Who I Am Makes a Difference,
on my jacket above my heart. He gave me an extra
ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to
honor. As I was driving home tonight, I started
thinking about whom I would honor with this ribbon
and I thought about you.

I want to honor you. My days are really hectic and when
I come home I don't pay a lot of attention to you.
Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough
grades in school and for your bedroom being a mess, but
somehow tonight, I just wanted to sit here and, well, just
let you know that you do make a difference to me.
Besides your mother, you are the most important
person in my life. You're a great kid and I love you!"

The startled boy started to sob and sob, and he
couldn't stop crying. His whole body shook. He looked
up at his father and said through his tears, "Dad,
earlier tonight I sat in my room and wrote a letter to
you and Mom explaining why I had killed myself and
asking you to forgive me. I was going to commit
suicide tonight after you were asleep. I just didn't
think that you cared at all. The letter is upstairs.
I don't think I need it after all."

His father walked upstairs and found a heartfelt letter
full of anguish and pain. The envelope was addressed,
"Mom and Dad."

The boss went back to work a changed man. He was no
longer a grouch but made sure to let all his employees
know that they made a difference. The junior executive
helped several other young people with career planning
and never forgot to let them know that they made a
difference in his life...one being the boss's son.

And the young boy and his classmates learned a
valuable lesson. Who you are DOES make difference.

You are under no obligation to send this on to
anyone...not to two people or to two hundred. As far
as I am concerned, you can delete it and move on to
the next message. But if, you have anyone who means a
lot to you, I encourage you to send him or her this
message and let them know. You never know what kind of
difference a little encouragement can make to a person.

Send it to all of the people who mean anything
important to you, or send it to the one, two, or three
people who mean the most. Or just smile and know that
someone thinks that you are important, or you wouldn't
have received this in the first place. Remember that!
I give you a blue ribbon.


Copyrighted work of author Helice " Sparky" Bridges

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