Rarely does an event grip the minds and hearts of people around the world as the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus. It’s global impact continues to cause profound disruption to the global economy and financial markets. Travel restrictions and the curtailment of public gatherings are impeding everyday life.
No doubt there are many lessons to be learnt. The Baal Shem Tov put it succinctly when he said, “Everything a person sees or hears is a lesson in how we can better serve G‑d”. The whole world becomes our classroom with G-d conveying direct messages to each and every one of us. Sometimes in a subtle way, sometimes not so subtle.
The panic caused by the coronavirus is due primarily to its contagious nature. This factor coupled with a truly interconnected world makes it a serious threat of it becoming a pandemic.
We normally use the word virus in the biological context. In truth, there are many other types of viruses which could be just as lethal . For example, in the moral context when we are experiencing negative energy, this too can be highly contagious. If we are angry or frustrated we can very easily ‘infect’ others with that negative vibe causing it to spread far and wide. Like a ripple effect, the impact is huge, especially in a world which is so interconnected.
Our sages say that “The measure of good is greater than the measure of punishment”. This means that if the power of contagion of a destructive force can cause so much disruption in a negative way, how much more so could the positive energy be contagious in healing the world in which we live. Through being gracious and kind to all those with whom we come into contact. By judging others favorably.
The world has always been interconnected. Today we are all experiencing this in real time. Each and everyone us has a choice to make. Do we ‘infect’ the world around us with ‘negative energy’? Or do we ‘infect’ the world around us with ‘positive energy’?