My coworker Wade has the best laugh! It is so contagious that when he laughs it causes me to smile, even on a bad day. If you think about how ‘Scooby Do’ chuckles, this is what Wade’s laugh sounds like to me. See, you are even smiling now! Truly, I am blessed that the bulk of the people I deal with daily are easy to be around, and contribute to the positive outcome my day. My work group is always looking for humor in the situations we come across as we tackle our case files. As a result, this puts me in an upbeat mood, which others receive when they interact with me. In other words, a positive and joyful spirit is contagious.
About a month ago, I was having one of those fantastic, feel good, Fridays where I just knew my weekend was going to set the record for being perfect. The weather was glorious; I had a ton of energy, and the plans for the next couple of days were fun filled. Even my radio station was playing all the right songs. It was a top down, breeze in my hair, kind of day. Adding to the ‘feel good’ status of my day, was the fact that I was donating blood at the drive they were having in my building. My mood was elevated to the penthouse. It seemed nothing could go wrong….
My appointment for blood donation was for 10:30 a.m., and located in an area of my building I had not been to before. For the record, I work for the State of Tennessee, which means I work in a government building. Not much of anything is marked. Somehow, you are to know which side of the building is east and which side is west. Additionally, none of the rooms is marked with their room number, and not too many people know how to direct you unless their cube sits right outside of your destination. When I finally arrived to my appointment, I was late, as I had been lost. With a huge smile on my face, and a joking tone, I mentioned that they might want to mark a trail to where they were located, so that their donators would be more readily able to find the room. What I was not prepared for was the venomous and extremely unpleasant response I received. No matter what I said to try to defuse this person, she was determined to be angry. By the time I left my appointment, I too had a black cloud hanging over my head. When I returned to my work area, I went to my Supervisor and shared my experience. She said, “Oh that is just the way Jane Doe is”. How sad to have the status that your personality is so negatively infectious that you have a reputation for being unpleasant! After speaking to my Supervisor, I went back to my cubicle feeling as though there was a black cloud over my head. It took me almost an hour to recover from that injection of her infectious negativity.
The Bible tells us in Proverbs 18:21, ‘The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.’ It also says in Proverbs 17:22, ‘A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.’ WOW, we have a lot of power to either build people up, or tear them down. Frustratingly, the nature of people is that we can infect negativity into someone easier than we can have them ‘catch’ our joy. It is because we have a built in sin nature is why this is the case. This should call every believer into action when faced with this fact and get to work in our own lives providing contagious joy. Which reputation would you rather have, one that is contagious in its joyful demeanor, or one that can infect someone with venom and ruin his or her day? The better question would be what do you think the Lord would prefer; that His people are infectious or contagious?