Con·ta·gious by Lori R. Keeton

adjective: contagious
1. (of a disease) spread from one person or organism to another by direct or indirect contact. 2. (an emotion, feeling, or attitude) likely to spread to and affect others

“Are you contagious?”

That was a common question posed over the last couple of months in Charlotte as we experienced our version of a bad winter (translation: a little ice and snow) and all the colds that came with it.


As science was never my strong suit, I am certainly no expert on germs. I just know that my mother put the fear of God in me that I would die instantly if I were to drink after another person or sit on a public toilet seat without first putting down toilet paper.


What I find truly fascinating is not how we transmit our illnesses to each other, but how we transmit ourselves.

As an associate at a large law firm, one of our favorite “tricks” was to go into the offices of “mean” partners after hours and call our colleagues’ extensions and leave voice mails from said partners’ phones.

Our friend/victim would arrive at work the following morning to the obnoxious blinking red light – which is bad enough in and of itself. When she hit the “Message” button and heard “Message Received at 8:20 p.m. from _________________” (insert name of pompous, insecure, corner office jerk here), the day got much worse.


Just their names could ruin an entire day.

Powerful stuff.

What do people think when your name shows up on their phone?

Does it ruin- or make- their entire day?

When a text with your phone number pops up, does the recipient instinctively roll his eyes and think “What now?” or smile in anticipation of what they are about to read?

I laugh every time I am around a girlfriend of mine who has the sound of a clock ticking as the ring tone for her significant other. It fits his Type A plus personality perfectly.

What would your ring tone be?

A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit nurse once told me that she always takes a couple of minutes to be sure that she is calm and in a positive mindset before she picks up any of the babies because they immediately respond to whatever energy she emits when she holds them. If she is upset, they get upset. If she is calm and happy, well, so are they.


Likewise, anyone who has had a very ill loved one has likely heard the speech about not getting upset when you go into their hospital room to visit: “Assume they can hear and feel everything around them.”

And that’s the irony I guess. On the one hand, our spirits are so powerful- an invisible calling card that impacts everyone who encounters us. On the other hand, we are also incredibly susceptible to the spirits of those around us.

As a result, we must not only be cognizant of what we are spreading with our souls but of what we are catching as well.

What part of yourself do you share when you walk into a room?


And what part of those around you do you take with you when you leave?


“Are you contagious?” You better believe it- and so are they.

Be careful. It’s powerful stuff….