Who you are DOES make a difference (a lesson in spreading appreciation)

Author unknown

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
acknowledg ment 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 so mebody to honor,
give them a blue ribbon, then give them the extra
blue ribbon so they can acknowledge a third
person to keep this acknowledg ment 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 see med 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
so mebody 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 ho me 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 so mebody else to honor. As I was
driving ho me 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 co me ho me 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 so
me how 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 have been contemplating suicide, Dad, because
I didn’t think you loved me. Now I know you care.”

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.

The young boy and his classmates learned a
valuable lesson.

Who you are DOES make a difference.