“Who You Are Makes A Difference”

 

A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her seniors in high
school by telling them the difference they each made. Using a process
developed by Helice Bridges of Del Mar, California, she called each
student to the front of the class, one at a time. First she told them how
the student 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,
“I was planning on committing suicide tomorrow, Dad, because I didn’t
think you loved me. Now I don’t need to.”

Helice Bridges  ( Chicken  Soup for the Soul) 

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