Happiness is Contagious

There are times when one’s expression of joy and happiness is so complete that it can encompass those near to that person.  I experienced that sensation recently.   My Spanish tutor, Stephanie, that I have been seeing online on Skype to maintain and improve my skills in Spanish, had suffered from the Covid19 virus with her brother and parents.  Although she and her brother recovered fairly quickly from the illness, her parents had contracted more serious symptoms from the virus.  They were both placed in intensive care with their situation classified as critical inasmuch as their breathing did not allow either of them to receive sufficient oxygen intake.  

During the course of their grave situation while in the hospital, Stephanie had to give up teaching to assist in her parents’ care with her brother.  When she resumed her online teaching, her parents’ condition was no longer critical, but she still had concern about how they would fair in the future.  As a psychologist, I congratulated her for handling a difficult time in her life quite admirably.  In the ensuing weeks, she would give me an update as to how her parents were progressing vis-à-vis their recovery.  Fortunately, although progress was slow, with her parents still manifesting symptoms, Stephanie reported that overall, both of them were doing better.

Then, I last had a lesson with Stephanie this past Thursday.  Her expression of joy and happiness was apparent as she described the fact that her father, the older of her parents, with her mother, was able to walk unaided by a cane.  I could feel the glowing gleam on her face from afar.  The distance did not matter.  It was spontaneous, so natural, like spring melting the darkness and gloom of winter by bringing more light and sunshine to flowers just blossoming. 

Her words matched the smile on her face.  Her facial glow retained its glow of happiness throughout the hour teaching session.  It was very evident that her heightened level of joy affected me as it would have affected anyone.  My own reaction to Stephanie’s good fortune reminded me of the power of one’s emotions; it was amazing that it was on Skype rather than in person.

Even if one’s life is not going according to plan, it can be uplifting to share in the good fortune of another human.  Viruses we know are highly contagious.  Wouldn’t if be nice if people allowed the positive emotions that their fellow humans experience spread like a contagion into their own lives?