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Who I Am Makes a Difference

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  • Heather A Hannam
    A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her Seniors in highschool by telling them the difference they each made. She called each student to the front of
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2002
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      A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her Seniors in highschool
      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
      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 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 one 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 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 wouldn't stop crying. His
      whole body shook. He looked up at his father and said through his tears,
      "Dad, earlier tonight I sat in my room and wrote a letter to you and Mom
      explaining why I had killed myself and asking you to forgive me. I was
      going
      to commit suicide tonight after you were asleep. I just didn't think that
      you cared at all. The letter is upstairs. I don't think I need it after
      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 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...one being the boss's son. And the young boy and his classmates
      learned a valuable lesson. Who you are DOES make a difference.
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