Inspired by Lead the Field
In many of my writings and recordings, I have quoted William George Jordan, the editor of the Ladies’ Home Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, and other magazines back in the early 1900s.
Here’s something that he wrote on the power of personal influence I’d like to share with you. This clearly demonstrates the power we have in our own lives to affect and influence others.
“The only responsibility that a man cannot evade in this life is the one he thinks of least, his personal influence. Man’s conscious influence when he’s on dress parade, when he’s posing to impress those around him, is woefully small, but his unconscious influence, the silent, subtle radiation of his personality, the effect of his words and acts, the trifles he never considers, is tremendous. Every moment of life he’s changing to a degree the life of the whole world.
“Every man has an atmosphere which is affecting every other. So silent and unconsciously is this influence working that man may even forget that it exists. All the forces of nature, heat, light, electricity, and gravitation are silent and invisible. We never see them; we only know that they exist by seeing the effects they produce.
“In all nature, the wonders of the scene are dwarfed into insignificance when compared with the majesty and glory of the unseen. In a thousand ways, nature constantly seeks to lead man to a keener and deeper realization of the power and the wonder of the invisible. And into the hands of every individual is given a marvelous power for good or for evil, the silent, unconscious, unseen influence of his life. This is simply the constant radiation of what a man really is, not what he pretends to be.
“Every man by his mere living is radiating sympathy or sorrow or morbidness or cynicism or happiness or hope or any of a hundred other qualities. Life is a state of constant radiation and absorption. To exist is to radiate. To exist is to be the recipient of radiations. There are women and men whose presence seems to radiate sunshine, cheer, and optimism. With them you feel calmed and rested and restored when you have stronger faith in humanity.
“There are others who focus in an instant, all your latent distressed morbidness and rebellion against life. There are men who float down the stream of life like icebergs, cold, reserved, unapproachable, and self-contained. In their presence you involuntarily draw your wraps closer around you and, as you wonder who left the door open. But there are other natures, warm, helpful, genial, who are like the Gulf Stream, following their own course. Flowing undaunted and undismayed in the ocean of colder waters. Their presence brings warmth and life and the glow of sunshine, the joyous, stimulating breath of spring.
“There are men who are like malaria swamps, poisonous, depressing, and weakening by their very presence. They make heavy and oppressive and gloomy the atmosphere of their own homes. The sound of the children’s play is still; the ripples of laughter are frozen by their presence. There are other men who seem like the ocean, constantly embracing, stimulating, giving new drafts of tonic life and strength by their very presence.”
This was written many decades ago, but as true today as it was then. So how are you radiating? Life is a constant state of radiation and absorption. To exist is to radiate. To exist is to be the recipient of radiations. Into the hands of each of us is given this marvelous power for good or evil. Where do you stand?