A teacher in New York City decided to honor each of her graduating high school seniors by telling each of them the difference she felt they made as an individual.
She called each student to the front of the class, one at a time. First she told the student how they had made a difference to her and the class. Then she presented them with a blue ribbon imprinted with gold letters reading: "Who I Am Makes a Difference."
She noticed a considerable attitudinal change in the class. So she decided to do a class project to determine what impact such recognition could have on their local community.
She gave each student three more ribbons, and asked them to go out and spread an “acknowledgment ceremony.”
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 the boy gave the executive two extra ribbons and asked him to find someone else to honor, and to in turn give them the extra blue ribbon so they could acknowledge a third person. The student asked the executive to report back to tell him what happened.
Later that day the junior executive went in to see his boss, who was known as a rather bad-tempered man. He sat his boss down and he told him that he deeply admired him for being a creative genius. The boss was very surprised. The junior executive asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue ribbon, and asked for permission to pin it on him.
His surprised boss gave his permission. The executive pinned the blue ribbon on his boss's jacket directly above his heart. Then he gave his boss the third blue ribbon, and told him of the boy’s request.
That night the boss sat his 14-year-old son down and told him: "The most incredible thing happened to me today. I was in my office and one of my junior executives came in and told me he admired me, He gave me a blue ribbon for being a creative genius. Imagine that. He thinks I'm a creative genius.”
He then told his son he wanted to honor him, and pinned the last remaining blue ribbon on his son’s t-shirt.
The startled boy began to sob. He couldn't stop. His whole body shook. He looked at his father through his tears and told him: "Dad, earlier tonight I sat in my room and wrote a letter to you and Mom explaining why I was killing myself, and asking you to forgive me. I was going to commit suicide after you were asleep. I didn't think you cared for me at 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 called in each employee one at a time to let them know that they made a difference.
Who you are DOES make a difference!
Don’t forget it!
And make sure the people in your life
know how special they are!