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. 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 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."
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