“We cannot tell the exact moment a friendship is formed; as in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over; so in a series of kindnesses, there is at last one that makes the heart run over.” (Author unknown)

I just finished reading Love for No Reason by, Marci Shimoff and wanted to share a powerful story in the book on communicating love and appreciation to one another.

“There’s a wonderful story about the power of appreciation that I’ve told in my speeches for years.  It’s based on the work of Helice “Sparkey” Bridges whose organization, Difference Makers International, has designed blue ribbons that read, Who I am Makes a Difference.  Their goal is that 300 million people worldwide each receive one of these ribbons by 2020.

The story is about a teacher in New York City who heard about these blue ribbons and decided to use them in an “appreciation ceremony” one afternoon with her high school seniors.  She honored each student one by one, telling them what she appreciated about them and then presented them with a ribbon.

She then gave each student three more blue ribbons to pass along in acknowledgement of others to see what impact it would make in their community.  One student gave a ribbon to his workplace supervisor.  From there it ended up in the hands of his boss, a busy executive who decided to give the ribbon to his fourteen-year-old son.  That night, the executive sat his son down on the couch and said to him, “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 different things.  But tonight, I just wanted 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!”

Hearing this, the son began to sob.  He went over to a drawer, opened it, and took out a gun.  Still crying he looked at his father and said, “Dad, I was going to commit suicide tomorrow because I didn’t think you loved me.  Now I don’t have to.  Please take this gun from me.”

You never know how much someone might need to hear your kind words of appreciation.  Life can be riddled with challenges and often we lose our way.  That is why we must never miss an opportunity to share how much we appreciate each other.  You may be the lifeline someone is reaching out for.

My Challenge:  Make a point of finding one person every day to share what you appreciate about them.

Maria Elena Escobar