“The influence of a beautiful, helpful character is contagious, and may revolutionize a whole town.”
– Graham Collier
As the Corona virus continues to rage like a wildfire on a global scale, the influence we have on each other is made abundantly clear. If one person catching the virus can spark a devastating pandemic, then we can also realize the contagious presence we have on others every single day – and harness this tremendous power we have to change the world.
The Corona virus has had an enormous influence on society worldwide. From seemingly nowhere, it has completely changed society as we know it – disrupting economics, trade, the way we interact socially and it has sparked an unimaginable amount of fear and uncertainty in the lives of many.
Regardless of how it was spawned into being – CoViD-19 has begun it’s journey by infecting a single person. Patient Zero. Stop and contemplate this for a minute. Isn’t it amazing, that one person eating a filthy batshit-soup in a backwater market in China eventually managed to disrupt global civilization – both killing millions of people as well as sparking unforeseen innovations?
It’s unlikely that this Patient Zero was a very powerful man in a conventional sense. He likely did not possess many riches, he had little social influence, no leadership – and he might not think much of his life purpose. I imagine this older man in his mid forties dressed in dirty, simple clothes with an uncomplicated trade profession. He simply lives his life, enjoys the day and is happy practicing culinary skills with unconventional items.
And yet this seemingly uninfluential man has irreversible changed the world as we know it.
Then how can one say we have no impact on the world?
Does this not make readily apparent that we all possess omnipotent, wide-ranging influence?
You are also a Patient Zero. Everyone is.
Like an infectious disease, there are many things we can spread to others; Inspiration, motivation, love, wisdom but also hate, sadness, violence and ignorance. Whatever you have inside of you, you can amplify. You will inevitably release it freely into world and others will take in your energy – and spread it further.
What you give will be multiplied – and over time, will spread just like a virus.
So what you do matters! In many ways – you are a conduit for the world. You can take in positive energy and amplify it using gratitude, exercise, emotion, movement or you can take in negative energy and amplify it with rumination, depressive thinking patterns, pessimism or lack of emotional control. In turn you will influence and infect others with your state.
We have seen this occurring time after time in history. How one man can spread immense hatred and destruction, or how another can spread hope, spark a light in the darkness or even start a religion. And as we have seen through the pandemic, you don’t need a large reach to achieve global effects.
In epidemiology there is the concept of the basic reproduction number. The basic reproduction number is the number of expected cases a person will infect upon others. If the number is higher than 1, an average person will increase the spread of an infectious disease. For standard Influenza, it’s about 1.5. For COVID-19 it’s about 5. The higher the number, the more transmissible a disease is and the further and faster it will expand within a population. It is this relatively high number why COVID-19 has managed to extend so far, so quickly.
This concept works the same when you are influencing people with your art, work or social interactions. If you influence a handful of people, and they each influence another handful and this continues – before you know it, you will have changed the world. The power of compounding applies here.
The math is astounding. Let’s say you influence just 3 persons in your life; An easy, low number to achieve. Because the impact you had on them, they each influence another three which will mean you have touched a total of 9 people with the gifts from your soul. If this continues for just 14 more times, you will already have changed everyone in an entire country. Continue another 12 iterations, and you will have influenced the population of the entire world!
And this is just with a replication factor of three! What if you increase your replication factor to the COVID-19 standard of 5? How fast will your ideas, inspirations, motivations, quotes and emotions fan out across the world?
And most likely, in reality, you directly influence much more people than three or five over your lifetime.
The exponential growth a virus displays and the exponential growth your behavior can have on the world can show up in many areas of life. And over time, it will even circle back to your own life and reinfect yourself.
If you want to become a more valuable person, give more value to others.
If you want to be more loved, give more love.
If you want to be happy, give more joy.
Similarly, negativity spreads in exactly the same way. It can, thus, also be your choice as to stop negativity dead in the tracks and not allow it to infect others. When you receive anger, hatred, violence or abuse – it can end with you – right there and then. If you personally have experienced a lot of negativity, this can even become a powerful purpose of your life!
This works even on a small scale – if your spouse gives you anger or animosity, you can choose at that moment either to amplify and return the negativity or you can choose to eliminate it right there and then by replying with love, kindness and understanding.
The key is to look within oneself. You cannot change what others do and feel. You can only make absolutely sure it ends with you and purposefully decide you want to spread a different energy. Yes, this requires sturdy self-control and emotional regulation, but no vaccine for any disease has ever been developed without hard work.
Then, what is left is to decide what positive energy you want to contaminate others with. What is your special gift, your purpose – the beauty in your soul? The final step you need to do is to touch a handful of people in the strongest, most intense way you can imagine. Change the lives of those in your close proximity. Make them light up and allow them to live to their fullest potential.
The contagion will have begun, and will spread exponentially from this point.
Think about what you can give today to those near to you.
You will change the world.
It’s time to infect.