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As contagion of sickness makes sickness, contagion of trust can make trust.

Marianne Moore

I post a good amount of quotes from other people. There are a lot of smart people in this world and they have said a lot of smart things already. As evidence by books like Hagakure which was written 300+ years ago, and books even much, much older. But for every quote I put on Urban Samurai, I probably read 50 that don’t fit, or I don’t like enough, or I just don’t agree with. There are times when you have to weed through a lot of hay to find the needle.

This is the needle I was looking for today.

When I read this quote by Marianne Moore, I didn’t really know what it meant. I had to look up the word contagion, which I now know basically means the spread of something through direct or indirect contact. That could be disease or an emotion or anything really.

The reason I like this quote so much is that it can be expanded pretty significantly. Built on, with things like love, honor, and self-respect. Contagion of love makes love. Contagion of honor creates honor. Contagion of self-respect can even create self-respect. Any positive emotion or act can be added to this quote.

Positivity often spreads on contact. That is indisputable. So think of all the positivity you create in this world by just being positive.

But you can also build on this quote with things like hate, jealousy, and anger. Contagion of hate creates hate. Contagion of anger creates anger. We could go down the list and we could replace these words with anything negative you can think of.

There is a lot of hardship in this world, and as a result, negativity spreads oftentimes easier than positivity. So think of all the negativity you create in this world with any negativity you emit.

Now, how many people do you touch on a regular basis? Let’s just take one day. How many people do you interact with and potentially influence in a 24 hour period? Assuming you’re not a shut in, who also doesn’t use social media, it’s a lot. Consider your power to add and subtract from those people just with the actions that your emotions dictate.

Don’t underestimate the power of your own behavior and the consequences it has on others. Think of all the people you touch, then all the people they touch. Now, consider your power to add or subtract from this world. Which would you like to do in this moment?