By Alicia Zorzoli
I write this while I am, like almost everyone else, locked up trying to avoid the spread of this virus that is changing our planet. The list of precautions to avoid infection seems to be increasing with each passing day.
Yesterday my husband went out to buy groceries. Lucky him! I said goodbye to him as if he was going on a cruise around the world. We have agreed that, as much as possible, we will only go out once a week, only to the grocery store, and we will take turns going, so it is only one of us going each time. Six more days before it is my turn! It will be the first time in 15 days that I go out into the world. This is our way of doing everything we can for this situation to end as soon as possible. And it will surely end!
But there are other types of contagions, I want to have, that are opposite of the ones we are bombarded with these days. These are the ones I want to be infected with!
I want to be infected with laughter. Now more than ever. Who isn’t touched by the laughter of a baby? Those who study human behavior say that laughter is an emotion that can help us with our closest relationships. Laughter is important when we feel good, but essential when we have problems. I love being around friends, family, brothers and sisters that make me laugh. In fact, when we meet other people, the probability of laughing at something is multiplied by 30. I want to be around people who infect me with their laughter.
I want to be infected with a positive attitude. I recently read an article titled “Attitude: A Very Contagious Virus.” We all know someone who, from the moment you meet them, fills the atmosphere with complaints, criticisms, and negative comments. When we least expect it, we realize that after being around this person for a while, we see everything negative around us. Thank God we have other friends, who always help us see the way out of any difficulty, pay us a compliment that makes our day lighter, and encourages us not to give up when we become discouraged. I want to be infected with that attitude.
I want to be infected with knowledge. It is true that we never stop learning. It is also true that the more we know, the more we realize how much we need to learn. I want to be infected by people who know much more than I do, and have a lot to teach me (thank God I have some very nearby). I want this biblical proverb to become true in my life: “Whoever walks with the wise, becomes wise” (Proverbs 13:20 NRSV). But, in addition to people, I want to be infected by richness found in books. From the Book of books to the endlessness number of good books within our reach, all of them are a source of knowledge. I want to surround myself with wise people who infect me with knowledge.
I want to be infected by good examples. Occasionally on Facebook, I find a picture of a boy walking behind his dad, who copies his dad’s posture and gestures. The caption reads: “There is nothing as contagious as being an example.” In my life I have had many examples of those I want to be infected by more and more. The example that stands out above all is that of my parents. They were willing to serve and follow the Lord even though they knew they would need to sacrifice many things. The Lord led them to serve in a country and at a time when it was forbidden to be an evangelical and they suffered a lot of persecution. When I was about five years old, my dad took me to one of the clandestine meetings. At one point the authorities arrived and arrested the entire group. Later, my parents told me, all while smiling, that at that age I was “detained” for a few hours in a police station. Those were the years that they suffered the most; nevertheless, they later remembered them as the happiest in their ministry. I want to be infected by their example.
I cannot think of a place that exemplifies that focus of excellent contagion more than the Christian Latina Leadership Institute.
If we think about laughter, boy we do laugh when we are together, sometimes during our classes, and many other times outside of class. There is a bond that unites us, that makes us feel like sisters, and offers us beautiful moments of happiness and enjoyment together.
If we think of a positive attitude, each one of the participants, whether they are students or professors, comes with very different backgrounds and with experiences that were not always pleasant. But I do not know anyone who finishes one of the classes without having been infected with the fresh air they need for that moment, or who have left without feeling empowered to strive to go further and higher.
If we think about knowledge, each class that is taught is a channel that transmits life and wisdom. From the class material taught by the faculty, where everything is derived from the Word, to the wisdom that comes from the life experiences of professors and students, the whole program is focused on the transmission of the knowledge and experience necessary to be the leaders that God and our culture require.
And what about the infection of good examples! To see the “live” journey of Christian women who have gone far and high, makes all of us present feel the conviction that “if she could, I can too”.
Now that is contagious! Thank God for infectious people that help us be better daughters of God.
Alicia Zorzoli is a Bible teacher and international lecturer, she has published numerous articles in Christian magazines and books. For more than ten years she has been a part of the CLLI faculty.