Motivational Story of the Week
Who I Am 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. 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
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
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 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 couldn'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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