Whether you realize it or not we all have the power to affect the behavior of others and that is why we must be careful about our words and our actions. Your words and actions will have a lasting influence on the people who are watching you and, yes, someone is always watching. You are setting an example for someone even if you are not aware of it and the example you set can change someone else’s life for the better or for the worse and that kind of power should not be taken lightly.
The power that can change another person for the better is shown when you show respect to a homeless person on the street by acknowledging that you see them by saying a simple hello. It is shown when you encourage someone to keep moving forward when they are going through a difficult time because you believed in them and you took the time to tell them that. Your influence has the power to comfort someone who has lost a loved one because you shared in their grief by just being there in their time of need. Enough cannot be said for the person who sets an example of kindness by ‘paying it forward’ when the opportunity presents itself.
The power that can change someone’s life in a negative way is when you show disrespect for someone who might be of a different race, gender or religion than you are, and just as you can put a smile on the face of someone you have helped, you can also break the spirit of someone you have hurt just as easily. Therefore, it is extremely important to be an example of a righteous and honorable person in our world today.
Albert Einstein said that “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.” As you go about your daily life remember your words and actions do matter and may influence more people than you may realize. Power is something we all have so use it wisely. You may never know which lives you influence and influence can last a lifetime. Be mindful of the fact that someone is always watching you. Be careful what image and legacy you leave behind. Life is too short to promote negativity and bad habits. Take pride in having some integrity at all times because even when you’re the only person in the room, someone is watching you from above. Be the example that you want others to follow. Your influence cannot be over-emphasized. Inspire people and maybe one day someone will look at you and say “because of you I didn’t give up.”