My family have been very generous this week but I wish they hadn’t. Most of the time when people share what they have you are pleased about it…when they offer to share their Easter chocolate you have no hesitation to accept; when they ask you to be their ‘plus 1’ at the movies when they have won tickets you are happy to oblige; or when they sit down to tell you something fantastic which has happened to them you listen with genuine enjoyment.
But my family has been sharing something that I didn’t want any part of. It started with a sniffle and was followed by a cough; groans and moans ensued as individuals ‘soldiered on’ and headed off to work. Tissue boxes were emptied; flu tablets and throat lozenges were consumed but slowly first one, then another and finally everyone in the house started to show the symptoms.
The common cold is ultimate act of sharing…it seems that no matter how careful you are, how much antibacterial spray you use, no matter if you cover your mouth, avoid physical contact or even isolate yourself from everyone else, you can’t help but share it around.
It is just a pity that it is such a negative thing and that it spreads so well…imagine if positive things did the same: Imagine if your positive attitude automatically transferred to the jaded shop assistant who barely acknowledges you; or if you are particularly good with money, just being around you made your fiscally inept relatives and friends suddenly careful and responsible; or if your confidence and security could be passed along to those who have no sense of purpose or self-worth.
Colds seem to spread easily because we create the right environment for them, we live busy lives, our diets often lack nutrition, we work in close quarters, we live in air conditioning – all of this adds to the potential for illness and for passing bugs around.
Passing around positives is a little more difficult but we should not be put off this enterprise because if we all could catch ‘the good’ that each of us was passing around then obviously things would only improve.
Jesus lived as a great example to for us to follow… “He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed…” “So do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased” (Heb 13:16)