YOU ARE ONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE
IN MY LIFE. I JUST WANTED YOU TO KNOW I THINK
YOU ARE SPECIAL.
A teacher in New York decided to honour 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 honoured 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 honoured 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
are doing a class project on recognition.
We'd like you to go out, find somebody to honour,
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 he
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 jacket above his heart. As he gave him
the last extra ribbon, he said, "Would you do me a
favour? Would you take this extra ribbon and
pass it on by honouring 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
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
honour. As I was driving home tonight, I
started thinking about whom I would honour with
this ribbon and I thought about you.
I want to honour 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
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."
WHO YOU ARE MAKES A DIFFERENCE
This story is copyrighted by Helice
Bridges, founder of Difference
Makers International. Visit their site
to find out more about how to spread the Blue
Ribbon message in your community.