The Power of Acknowledgement
by Dana Bristol-Smith

My friend Helice 'Sparky' Bridges is outrageous.
She is one of those rare individuals who is truly LIVING OUT LOUD. She is a 65 year old grandmother who just happens to be as excitable as a stick of dynamite.

You may have a friend like her. She is the one who is always laughing the loudest, and to top it off she snorts when she laughs - and the more she laughs, you guessed it, the more she snorts. It makes me smile just to think of her laugh!

Helice decided that she wanted to help change the world by telling people how much they matter. So she created a blue ribbon that says 'Who I am Makes a Difference' and she stops to honor people with the ribbon and tells them something that she appreciates about them and she asks their permission to stick a blue ribbon on their chest.

Everyone says yes, and receives her gift.

We were at lunch together recently waiting for our order. Helice saw a man walking with his lunch tray with a big order of French fries on it. She went up to him and asked if she could have one of his fries. He looked surprised, but smiled and said yes. She took one of the fries and came back and sat down and enjoyed it.

As we were leaving the restaurant, she asked me to wait so she could go and 'honor' the man who shared his fries. I didn't hear what she said, but I'm sure that it was said with kindness and love and that he walked away standing just a little bit taller with a smile on his face.

These blue ribbons have taken on a life of their own. To date, more than 30 million blue ribbons have been distributed and they've been translated into 12 languages! They are used in company board rooms and school classrooms. They seem to contain a certain magic, they instantly will light someone up from the inside.

The ribbons start a conversation of acknowledgment. They let someone know that you care about them. They make us stop and take a moment, take a breath, look someone in the eyes and tell them something that we appreciate about them.

The ribbons are a simple and honest act of
generosity, love and caring.

I'd like to share the gift of the blue ribbon with each of you. If you send me an email with your address, in the United States, I'll send you 3 blue ribbons. One is for you and two are to pass on to others. If you'd like more blue ribbons, you can visit Helice's website
Difference Makers International
and learn more.

But let me first tell you what I appreciate about you.

I appreciate you because you are a life-long learner and are dedicated to improving your own communications. I know that you care about others and want to be able to communicate that to them so they understand how important they are to you. I admire your courage and your honesty and that you want to be a positive role model to others. You are important to me. Thank you for the opportunity to communicate with you.

Please remember that Who You Are Makes a Difference!

You might like to know that Helice also teaches a 25 hr. Standing Strong Together leadership program to monks, business leaders, educators and teens throughout the world so that they can teach others how to live, love, laugh and make a difference. To order "Who I Am Makes A Difference" Blue Ribbons go to

About the Author

Dana Bristol-Smith is the founder of Speak for Success, an organization that works with companies that want their people to communicate with confidence and credibility. You can email Dana