Emotions are Contagious

In the book “Emotional Intelligence” Daniel Goleman shared an incident of Vietnam war when a group of six monks walked straight towards the line of fire without looking left or right amidst an open fire. They were so calm and quiet that soldiers fighting in that location couldn’t understand their behavior and they just stopped fighting.

One of the soldier recalls the incident.

It was really strange, because nobody shot at ’em. And after they walked over the berm, suddenly all the fight was out of me. It just didn’t feel like I wanted to do this anymore, at least not that day. It must have been that way for everybody, because everybody quit. We just stopped fighting.

David Busch, Vietnam veteran


If something as intense as war can be over by literally doing nothing but walking in silence, we should pause for a moment and think carefully of what impact we can make by carefully placing our emotions in right place at the right time. Becoming angry in response to anger is trivial and it fuels anger itself and since it’s contagious it spreads like every other emotion. Try spreading the feeling of gratitude, try spreading happiness for a change and trust me like every other emotion they’ll spread too.


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