To influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him.
Oscar Wilde

11 comments

  1. Beth Trissel // January 22, 2010 at 11:49 AM  

    excellent quote as usual, Linda. Deep. Need more coffee to absorb and ponder this one.

  2. Mary Marvella // January 22, 2010 at 12:38 PM  

    I agree with Beth about the pondering.

    I'd argue with him that if one accepts the influence willingly it might add to what he is. Some influence is "skin deep", so to speak. Conversely, if one accepts influence with which he disagrees and does things he believes are wrong, then he willingly gives away part of his soul.

    How was that for deep?

  3. Mona Risk // January 22, 2010 at 12:54 PM  

    But is it fair to influence others? Is it fair to try to make them change who they are just because we don't agree?

  4. Nightingale // January 22, 2010 at 3:00 PM  

    I tend to agree with Wilde that in influencing another person you give away part of yourself. I don't believe it is right to try to influence others, whether or not you agree with their views or beliefs. But we all do it, most times unknowingly. For example, another writer whom you admire.

  5. Judy // January 22, 2010 at 3:17 PM  

    Very interesting...read it twice and am stilling thinking about it! Thanks...Like what you said, Mary

  6. Pamela Varnado // January 22, 2010 at 6:06 PM  

    I've always been moved by the way a person's life can affect someone elses. Even the small things we do or don't do can make a big difference. Thanks for the thoughtful quote. It reminds me that I play a part in this sometimes overwhelming world.

  7. Scarlet Pumpernickel // January 22, 2010 at 6:26 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  8. Scarlet Pumpernickel // January 22, 2010 at 6:44 PM  

    Bad day, need a drink! Linda, you quote is way over my head. I'll rely on the other ladies to interpret for me.

  9. Mary Ricksen // January 23, 2010 at 1:42 PM  

    Never thought of it that way. But it's a piece that's all.
    If your friend was thinking of jumping off a cliff. Influence them!
    It all depends, doesn't it?

  10. Joanne // January 24, 2010 at 7:15 PM  

    Beautiful quote by Oscar Wilde. I have to think about this one. Thanks, Linda!

  11. Nightingale // January 25, 2010 at 10:29 AM  

    It is a deep, thought provoking quote and our comments have run the gamut. Mary R., you are right, too.