Sixteen-year-old Ashley Monroe, from Massachusetts, was tired of listening to people at school constantly putting themselves down. They’d say things like “No one likes me” or “I’m ugly.” For at least one day Ashley wanted everyone at her school to know that someone thought they were beautiful.
It took over 6 hours, but she wrote out 1,986 sticky notes. Each one said, "You're beautiful," and with the help of a friend, Ashley stuck one to every locker in the entire school.
She hadn’t planned to tell people that she had done it, but word got out after she had been called to the Dean's office. Ashley got found out through the school's video surveillance cameras.
After explaining everything that had happened to the Dean, there was talk of a possible 3-day suspension from school for Ashley. Imagine being suspended for trying to encourage classmates to feel better about themselves! But when one of her teacher’s and the rest of the students found out, a group came together and passed a petition around school.
The petition ended up with over 600 signatures, from both students and faculty. The talk about suspending Ashley stopped.
She was amazed that people would do something like that for her. “For one day, I truly felt beautiful. And for one day, I managed to make every other kid in my school feel beautiful, as well.”
A few days later a stranger from school approached Ashley to tell her that on that day she was planning to kill herself. She had given up completely on life, but Ashley gave her hope.
What an awesome example of making a difference!
If this was the only person Ashley was able to encourage from a simple post-it note it would have been totally worth it. Everybody can use some encouragement from time-to-time. Maybe that’s why God’s word teaches us that we should “encourage each other and build each other up” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
So what can you do on your campus…at work…at home…in your community to make a difference in someone’s life by encouraging them?