We influence others by what we say, what we do, and who we are.
Every person who lives in this world wields an influence, whether for good or for evil. It is not what he says alone, it is not alone what he does. It is what he is. Every man, every person radiates what he or she is. Every person is a recipient of radiation. The Savior was conscious of that. Whenever he came into the presence of an individual, he sensed that radiation—whether it was the woman of Samaria with her past life; whether it was the woman who was to be stoned or the men who were to stone her; whether it was the statesman, Nicodemus, or one of the lepers. He was conscious of the radiation from the individual. And to a degree so are you, and so am I. It is what we are and what we radiate that affects the people around us.
… As individuals, we must think nobler thoughts. We must not encourage vile thoughts or low aspirations. We shall radiate them if we do. If we think noble thoughts, if we encourage and cherish noble aspirations, there will be that radiation when we meet people, especially when we associate with them.
The effect of our words and acts is tremendous in this world. Every moment of life you are changing to a degree the lives of the whole world. … So, it’s not the surroundings, it isn’t the positions; the thing that will influence [others] in this world, are personalities. No matter what you are, people will feel and recognize this. You radiate, you can’t hide it.
It is important … that we seek, both in life and in books, the companionship of the best and noblest men and women. [Thomas] Carlyle, a great English writer, says that “Great men taken up in any way are profitable company. We cannot look, however imperfectly, upon a great man, without gaining something by him. He is the living ‘light-fountain,’ which it is good and pleasant to be near.”
If you will study the lives of these great “light-fountains” of the world, you will learn of at least one thing that has made their names endure. It is this: Each one has given something of his life to make the world better. They did not spend all their time seeking only pleasure and ease, and a “good time” for themselves alone, but found their greatest joy in making others happy and more comfortable. All such good deeds live forever, even though the world may never hear of them.
No good deed, no kind word can be spoken without its effect being felt for good upon all. Sometimes the good may be infinitesimal, but as a rock that is thrown in a pool starts a wave from the center which continues to enlarge until every part of the shore is touched, so your deeds, silent, many of them, unknown, unspoken, unheralded, continue to radiate and touch many hearts.