A new report in the British Medical Journal (as reported by Time) asserts that happiness is as contagious as a virus. These scientists (from Harvard and the University of California at San Diego) studied "5,000 people and their nearly 50,000 social ties" and determined that happiness spreads and that its ripple effects spread out to three degrees of separation from the original happy individual.
This is, in my view, big news. "Viral happiness" can be a powerful, joy-spreading tool in our families and our communities, especially in uncertain times. No matter how bleak things appear, if we look hard enough, we can usually find something that makes us happy: a hug from our kids, a great song on the radio, or the morning sunshine flooding through the windows the way it's doing at my house right now. The light is bright and winter white. It's almost blinding if I move my chair just a little to the right. It's a glorious, hopeful, beautiful light that makes me very happy, indeed.
I hope you catch my disease this morning, and then get out there and spread it around.