Lives can be shaped by casual influences. An off-hand remark results in choosing a different field of study or a particular school. A baseless anecdote steers someone toward or away from a career of excellence. A compliment, uttered at the right moment, may possess special power just as a discouraging remark can be remembered for decades.
Granted, there are minor comments that remain minor and are soon forgotten. Beware, however, of underestimating a comment solely because it is minor.
Our lives are novels. Minor characters and little remarks may continue to inspire or demoralize long after they are introduced.