Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Influence

There are days when I am utterly astonished at the power of influence we have over each other, whether we mean to or not.  Every once now and again, I am reminded of this.  How a random smile or compliment can be the uptick in a person's day.  How your persistence and struggle, hugely frustrating to you, can be such a source of strength for someone else.

Despite my obstacles, I want to be stingy with criticisms and frustrations, but leave a wide path of happiness in my wake.
I come across this every now and again, but I think of it often.
But you know how it all works, how the small actions add up. And you now see how you can start to stack them up differently. The helpful suggestion upward, not made. The confidential memo leaked downward, or out. The book recommended to an inquiring student. No longer on the curriculum, but you might find it interesting - a different angle. The conversational concessions withdrawn. The conventional civility dropped. The hard stare back, the harder line held. The slack not cut. Elsewhere, the warmer smile. The word of encouragement. The grant approved. The link forwarded. The cartoon tacked up. The dues paid. The paper bought, the extra coin passed, the minute spent in friendly chat before you hurry for the train. The firm nod to your own kid's tentative query. 

- from The Early Days of a Better Nation

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