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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Friday, December 11, 2009


Lots of us are thinking this word these days. “Is that cough contagious” “Did you wash your hands?”

I’ve been reading an interesting study about some research that shows more things are contagious than we may have realized. Emotions surrounding pain and suffering really do spread to care-givers and other members of the community.

Even loneliness can infect others and can become a prevalent feeling within a group. That apparent contradiction has apparently been proven by real scientific method and confirmed by separate studies. In fact, say these scientists, loneliness can spread—like a virus!

When someone is ill or unconscious or dies, the body of the community is affected and those members need to be supported and uplifted and helped to deal with these contagious responses. The distress of one registers in the emotions, even the bodies of care-givers, even just observers. Imagine!

There is good news here as well! Healing is also communal. We may have always known this as we’ve been part of the interpersonal web of concern, prayer, listening, sharing, submitting that surrounds those with needs.

Authors of the “loneliness study” (You can read about it here )say how important it is to tend to the needs of the most marginalized and not to forget the truths we, as a community, have always known from our most ancient spiritual practices.

And we in the What’s the Good Word community can be affirmed in our belief that good stuff too is contagious!

1 comment:

  1. This is a fine piece. I hope people will take time to read it. I especially enjoyed the musings on Macbeth.

    There can no doubt that our energy levels are catching, and many attitudes are contagious. I remember when a new family moved into a congregation I was part of some years ago. They were so enthusiastic and upbeat, that they transformed a rather cautious, low-key congregation into an exuberant one. Of couse enthusiasm needs to be based on more than emotion, there needs to be a meaningful theology at the base, but the fact was that the presence of that one family made a huge difference.

    Good blog!


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