The Contagious Culture of Goodness

I am madly in love…so deeply that most days I cannot contain the overflow. I dwell in a world of illusion so transfixed and mesmerized by this captivating wave of love. I am forever caught in its wonders and the extraordinary paths it illumines. I am captive forevermore, held hostage by its all-encompassing, all consuming, all engulfing atmosphere. I cannot free myself for it forever pursues me and chases me down each day and without so much of a hint of warning, it besieges me and overtakes my soul. The fusion occurred long ago in times which now only live in vague memories and the universal hologram.

I am head over heels in love with goodness. Though it is all around us in millions of happenings and in billions of people, I am talking about the kind of goodness there is no reward for, selfless, pure and of genuine intent.
What set me on this path and what makes a person resonate so intensely to goodness? Out of nearly 8 billion people worldwide, why are so few nestled in its warm embrace? Why are we the paupers while others are rewarded for that which is nonessential to anything that in the end matters? What is this hunger to exercise that which is good and right and true and what makes goodness the way?

I pondered all these philosophical questions the week Pope Francis visited America in the summer of 2015. What was it about this man that made even the atheists become soft and warmed by his very presence? It wasn’t a demi-god thing; there were no grandiose speeches or enormous displays of ego at work. There was a simple missionary on a mission to spread love all while being carried from event to event a tiny Fiat automobile. I marveled at how many people suddenly were enveloped in his grace and kindness…let’s face it, even the hardest of men found themselves soul searching that week while glued to the television coverage of his every move.Pope Francis inspired millions and even the Speaker of the House, John Boehner was not immune to the contagion of goodness. This simple servant managed to bring many believers and non-believers into unison with love and the dance was a high immaculate.

We watch videos of people saving animals in peril, of rescuers coming to the aid of humans in need, we see acts of kindness and we meld into a pile of goo…albeit lovely goo.The fact is goodness is contagious and in a world growing harder and colder daily, in a world where our leaders and most politicians are morally bankrupt and humans have become desensitized by life, goodness is the vaccine which cures the plague of indifference. goodnessblogariaajaeger
There have been countless studies on the effects of kindness and acts of goodness and the data reveals increased heart health benefits, the body ages slower, relationships improve and an overall sense of peace occurs. Additionally just witnessing an act of kindness triggers the happy chemicals of the brain leading to a sense of elation.

Humans are born with goodness in their composition; it is only circumstances and conditions which cause them to act outside of the boundary of love and kindness. Many have to retrain their brains and hearts for goodness to be their first response to any situation.

I saw a story on 60 Minutes about a prosecutor in Louisiana who zealously and with great pomp convicted a man of murder 30 plus years ago. When DNA tests revealed the man was innocent, this once hardened District Attorney was brought to his knees. Not only had the accused lived in solitary confinement for 30 years leaving his cell only one hour a day to walk around, it was discovered upon his release that he had terminal cancer and died penniless only a few months after he gained his long overdue freedom. The DA is now trying to make amends and did apologize to the convicted man but to no avail, he could not find forgiveness of self and said he will spend the rest of his life living with this travesty he created. He admitted that he was arrogant; seduced by the culture of success and that he blatantly overlooked any other suspects because this conviction was just too easy for him. I am sure he now asks himself every day, was it worth it? Were the gains worth living a lie? Were his successes of any real value now that the world knew they were built on a lie and on harming an innocent man? To his credit he has asked Louisiana to reprimand him for his actions.

Goodness, even if late in coming is always a welcomed guest and should be treated with respect, nurtured with unconditional love and taught in schools worldwide as an essential part of academia.

Ariaa Jaeger, Ariaa.com

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