Dear Young Readers,
Swami says that one of the major problems that Youth
today face is the lack of self confidence: The belief that
they are children of God and have a purpose to fulfill in
life. In short, Who They Are makes a difference. Here is a
story that we received by e-mail
the author is unknown,
but the story is really touching
THE BLUE RIBBON
A teacher in New York decided to honor each
of her high school students 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.
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."
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.