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.
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.
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
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,
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
As I was driving home tonight, I started thinking about whom I
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 --- sent to me by my friend Jan Christianson
Here is how you can make a difference. Please visit her Blue Ribbon Campaign Web Site. If you have anyone who means a lot to you, I encourage
you to send them this message and let them know.
You never know what
kind of difference a little encouragement can make to a person.