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


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 he gift of the blue ribbon and would he give him

permisson 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


That night the boss came home to his 14-year-old son and sat him


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


You are under no obligation to send this on 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 them 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 or two people who mean the


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. Who YOU are makes a difference!

And I wanted you to know you mean a lot to me!

You make a Difference!

Each and everyone one of you brings some joy into my life, and I just

hope that I can bring even a little bit of that joy back into your life.