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The principal decided to honor all of the high school seniors by telling them the difference they had made. Each student was called to the front of the assembly, one at a time, and told how he or she had made a difference to the school and the senior class. Then they were each presented with a blue ribbon, pinned, and prominently displayed on their clothing, imprinted with gold letters, which read, “Who I Am Makes A Difference.”
As a class project, an annual tradition, the seniors decided to see what kind of impact this same recognition would have on the community. Each student retained three ribbons with the instruction to repeat the same ceremony of acknowledgement that they had received with someone who had impacted their life. They were to report back in three weeks on who was honored and what the results were. The following is one such report.
One young man went to a junior executive in a nearby company to honor him for helping him with career planning. He pinned the ribbon on his shirt, explaining the class project, and then gave him the other two ribbons to pass on. He was also instructed to report back to the student the results of his encounter of recognition.
The junior executive went to see his boss, who had been kind of a grouch lately. He told his boss that he deeply admired him for being a creative genius. The boss seemed overly surprised by the gesture but allowed the junior executive to pin the blue ribbon on his suit coat, above his heart. After explaining the class project, he then gave his boss the remaining ribbon saying, “Take this and pass it on by honoring someone else.”
That night the boss sat his 14-year-old son down and said, “The most incredible thing happened to me today. A junior executive visited me and told me he admired me for being a creative genius. He presented me with this ribbon that reads, “Who I Am Makes A Difference.” He gave me an extra ribbon and asked me to find someone else to honor. I started thinking of who I wanted to honor, and I thought of you. I want to honor you! My hectic days too often keep us separated. I sometimes scream at you for your poor grades and your messy room. But tonight, I just want to 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 began to sob. He couldn’t stop crying. His whole body shook. Through his tears he said, “Dad, I’ve been sitting in my room writing a letter to you and mom explaining why I killed myself. And I asked you to forgive me. I just didn’t think that you cared at all.” The father pinned the ribbon on his son’s shirt then went to his son’s bedroom to read the heartfelt letter full of anguish and pain.
The next day the boss went back to work a changed man, no longer a grouch, but constantly let his employees know that they make a difference. The junior executive helped more students with career planning, including the boss’s son, and never forgot to let them know that they can make a difference in other people’s lives. The senior class learned a valuable lesson, “Who you are does make a difference.”
[Hebrews 3:12-13] It’s not easy: to apologize; to begin over; to admit error; to keep trying; to take advise; to be unselfish; to be charitable; to face a sneer; to avoid mistakes; to keep out of a rut; to endure success; to profit by mistakes; to forgive and forget; to think and then act; to make the best of little; to subdue an unruly temper; to recognize the silver lining; to shoulder the deserved blame — but it always pays off in the long run! So, don’t think you’re the “only one” getting pushed around by life. Honor our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for He “Makes A Difference” to everyone who believes in His Word.