My mother forwarded me an email this morning. One of those inspirational stories that, even if they are not true, are a beneficial lesson about life and what it is to be human. I check everything on Snopes because, well, I’m curious. It doesn’t diminish the impact of the story to find out it’s not true. If something is helpful in any way, truth or story, it’s helpful!
I checked this out on Snopes, and while they could not verify the truth of the specific incidents in the email, I found that the concept was, indeed, quite real. A good idea, too, if you ask me. Which, if you’re reading this blog, then you kind of did. 🙂
So Peace, Good Will for today is about a lady called Helice Bridges and her blue ribbons. Helice started a program, and then an entire organisation, in which someone gives a blue ribbon to a person who they feel has made a difference in their life or the community. Along with this honour, they are given two more ribbons and asked to award someone they think makes a difference and pass along the spare for that person to pass on to someone else. Schools all over the country have Blue Ribbon weeks. I really like this idea.
The email Mum sent me tells a story about a New York City school teacher who did this in her class, and how one of the ribbons found it’s way to a man who passed it on to his son. According to the story, the son was going to commit suicide that night and had gone so far as to write a note to leave for his family. We don’t know if that part is true, but think about it. It could happen. One kind word, a smile, a small token of “hey, you’re worth something” can really help someone, and literally maybe even save a life.
I know this for fact because I was in a situation like this about 11 years ago. My husband at the time was not the greatest guy in the world. He could have been, but he had some mental issues that just couldn’t be fixed with love and home cooking. My daughter, who I thought I was hiding everything from, was lashing out at me. She saw what was happening- kids are smart- and she was scared, hurt, confused… if no one else had any respect for me, how could she? I was broken. I truly felt like everyone, even Shooshie, was better off without me. How could I set a good example for her? How could I provide a good life for her? I couldn’t even get myself in order. I collected a box-ful of tranquilisers and other pharmaceuticals and devised a plan that would not only end my misery and the misery of those who had to be around me, but would even solve the issue of the remaining payments on my new car. I had it all planned out.
The night I was going to drive off the bridge, someone, somehow knew that something bad was going to happen to me. Three of my online friends stayed up with me until 5 in the morning. None of them said a word as to why they wanted me to “hang out”, or voiced any suspicion. They were just there for me. It was weeks later that one of them told me the truth.
They saved my life by making me feel like I was worth something. They made me see the truth.
So PGW #7 is Helice “Sparky” Bridges and her blue ribbons. (And to whoever made up that email to circulate.)
PS: If anyone who reads this ever needs someone to remind them that they are worth something, and that they can make a difference, you just write to me. I will gladly “pass along the blue ribbon” like some people once did for me. That may seem silly since I don’t know you, but I figure if you are looking at blogs about peace and good will, you must be a nice person.