It’s amazing how fast it spreads. It traveled around the world quickly, boomed in the media, and now it seems to be all I can think about.
If you think I am talking about COVID-19, you’re right, but I am also referring to the negativity, the hatefulness, and the panic I have witnessed since this whole thing began.
My entire Facebook feed is flooded with announcements, questions, what-ifs, and memes, and in the comments, there are nasty, ugly statements of people arguing with others about what the “right thing” to do is.
We are all struggling to cope with what is happening right now. My university is going online for the rest of our spring semester, and not only is the virus affecting school, it is affecting my work, my relationships, and my mental health.
When I say it affects my mental health, I mean that I am sad that I don’t know how long it will be until I see my loved ones, but I also feel a heaviness in my gut each time I think about those who are in need right now, those who are hurting, those I want to help, but I see no way to do so.
The negativity weighs me down, and I try so hard to remember what I can do to help the world go around.
Negativity is contagious.
It stays in our media, it latches itself to the words we’ve seen every day. Social Distancing. Self-Isolate. Positive Cases.
Negativity stays with our questions.
How many deaths? Will we go on lock-down? How long does the virus stay on surfaces? What can we do to keep our families safe?
When I think about these questions and the scared people across the globe, that negativity becomes an anchor. I hope that soon it will release me so that I might be able to breathe. There is panic there, and it is difficult to remedy that in the state our world is in.
I want to take this moment to remind you, and myself, to take a step back, evaluate your actions, and decide how you want to handle it.
It won’t get better until we can stop fighting, until we can remember that we find safety and community together even though we must stay apart right now. The last thing we want to do is lose sight of our humanity.
It is human to be scared. It is human to wonder what will happen next.
It is also human to share happiness, to be grateful, to help others. It’s human to share.
We share so much in our world. We share memes, media, and common DNA. We share panic and dread. We can share COVID-19 with others. But you know what else is contagious?
Kindness is also contagious.
In all its forms, it spreads, and it coats everything it touches. It becomes smiles, and butterflies, and rainbows, and laughter, and helping hands. It can create so much, but it is often overlooked.
Kindness is a powerful source of love and friendship, a tool for community, and I think it is time to use it.
In an effort to show what else is contagious outside of COVID-19, I challenge you to share something kind and good with your loved-ones, and even with strangers.
Here is your challenge:
There are many components of kindness including (but not limited to) helping hands, smiles, laughter, gratitude, and anything you might consider a “good thing.”
Every cloud has a silver lining.
You could share a silver lining, too. Find the good in our bad situations. Let’s find some positive aspects!
Please share a picture of your “good thing”, your helping hands, your community, anything that brings a smile and a kind feeling into your world.
Please caption it with:
“I’m kind because…”
“I love my community because…”
“My good thing is…”
“I’m smiling today because…”
“I’m grateful for…”
“My silver lining is…”
OR anything else you feel fits with the theme. I want you to be creative and share your kindness and your good things for the world to see. Share something good with others, and let’s prove that it isn’t just COVID-19 and negativity that is contagious.
In your post, please include #kindnessiscontagious so that others can see what you’re sharing, and please share these good things with me!
If you would like to see some inspiration from members of our community who have spread some kindness, you can follow these links, here and here. If you have seen more, please feel free to share them!
*I also want to remind everyone that it is inappropriate to make racist comments concerning COVID-19. There is no reason to treat other people as if they are less because of where they or their family come from. This is absolutely unacceptable, and it hurts me to think that people use this time as an excuse for bigotry.*