On Being Contagious

'Tis the season for hacking coughs, congestion, late night runs to buy Kleenex. 

Some folks already have the bug. And some who don't are worried they will. 

Because, our doctors, signs on bus stops, pharmacy ads tell us loud and clear, those seasonal bugs are super contagious. 

So, it's easy to think that the not-great-stuff has a monopoly on contagiousness: viruses, diseases, cynicism. 

But that wouldn't be the whole story. Because some of the most noble virtues are capable of being transmitted - it's just a quieter, subtler spreading. 

At a meeting, I was moved by someone sharing her vulnerable story, which inspired me to share my own. I'd caught her courage. 

A Honda let me merge in, then I let a Jeep do the same a few miles on. I'd caught that Honda's kindness. 

A stranger buys me coffee when the cafe's card reader doesn't work and I don't have cash; I've gotten coffee for strangers ever since. I caught that stranger's generosity. 

My father is a master recycler. I became a better recycler from being around him. I'd caught his conscientiousness. 

Beautiful behaviors have contagious power. Sometimes we'll see that power; sometimes we won't. But it rubs off on others - like that Honda and that coffee shop stranger rubbed off on me. 

So, go ahead, be contagious. In all the most beautiful ways. 

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