Be Contagious.

” Please get away from me. I don’t want to get sick.  You don’t want to get everyone sick here with the flu.” I guess you are not strange to those comments if you are sick. I bet some of you are used to this kind of comments when you know your sickness might be contagious for the people around your office, around your house, etc. However, do you know there is something positive that you can spread to others? It is contagious as well. But I am sure you won’t get many negative comments this time. The power of being cheerful and positive.

Years ago, I was living with a family in Charlotte, North Carolina. Needless to say, I was taught by each of the family members regarding to the principle of living in US. Each one of them had their own unique ways to present their maturity and understanding of life.  I was very drawn to the stories from the mother. Let’s call her “Rosemary.”  Rosemary was the youngest kid in her family among 8 brothers and sisters. Since she was little, she began to cook for the whole family. Her father was never around and her mother suffered from alcoholic addiction and other negative aspects in her life. Rosemary shouldered the responsibilities of the family while she was little. She made the dinner and helped the older siblings to do he chores. Life went like this until she was admitted to college. She finally had her own life and began a new journey for her. Little did she knew, after getting married to her husband, she had issues with depression and alcoholic addiction, too. Most importantly, her depression was getting worse after three years of her marriages. She became very depressed and negative in general. Her husband and children didn’t know what to do. She was beating herself up with words and thoughts. After going through numerous clinical treatment, finally, the doctor told her husband that the major caused her depression was her own thinking. Simple enough to understand: Rosemary couldn’t let go of the past. Subconsciously, she had some grudges against her mother and her older siblings as well.

Maybe you are asking yourself this question: why do I feel emotional or emotionally attached to Rosemary? Am I her? Well, Rosemary went through a hard time with her family and career until one day she met someone from her church who was a well-known psychologist in the United States. The psychologist told Rosemary two things after a in-depth conversation in the office. Number one: You can’t undo the past. Just let it go. Having grudges against others will only hurt you, alone. Second, started to see things in a more positive and cheerful way. People will be drawn to you sooner or later.

Rosemary decided to give a shot after thinking and pondering for a while. She started to walk with her husband more often after dinner. She began to share with her husband some funny stuff she saw on the way to the grocery stores. Whenever she was tempted to get down, she would get on her knees, praying and asking for the help from the Lord. At the same time, she dumped all her leftover wines and beers in the garbage can. To make long story short, today, Rosemary is healthy and strong. She is 76 years old and travels all over the world to widen her horizon. Just yesterday, she mailed me a postcard from Japan. Rosemary is in the process of building an orphanage there.

Looking back, Rosemary had issues with her past and her addictions. However, she chose to fight with it. She didn’t get bitter, she got better. Coming back to our topic, when I talk about ” being contagious” in life, what I am, trying to say is our positive energy will greatly affect the people around us. Just because we are upset about something, it does not give us the reason to be sour and bitter towards others. I don’t know about you. I never want to be around the person who always has a chip on his shoulder. We all have issues and troubles to deal on the daily basis. It is part of the journey. However, it is our choice to get bitter or to get better. When we are positive and encouraging to others, people are more likely to engage in a conversation with us. When we are spreading the joy to others, we are more likely to be more helpful towards other people.

When was the last time you had a good laugh?
When was the last time you had a good laugh?

Stop being the “sickness” to others. Maybe you don’t feel up to a par from time to time, that’s okay. Just ponder about the great moments that happened to you before. There is always a reason to argue or fight with others, between married couples, among co-workers, even at church between pastors and congregation.  Ruth Graham was once asked by someone what kind of person Bill Graham was in her mind, and whether she ever thought about divorcing him after disputes. Ruth said, ” divorce? No. But murder, yes.” What am I saying? When you are about to get depressed next time, do yourself a favor. Leave them behind before talking to others. Started to spread the joy and peace to others, not bitterness, not hatred, not coldness.

The last thing we need right now is war. I am not just talking about the war between countries. I am talking about the war in our homes, in the office, and most essentially, the war inside of us. Remember: you have something more powerful than sickness giving to others. Take actions today and you will be the “cut-up” for others.

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