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We are all now much more familiar with the concept of contagion and how something can spread rapidly and invisibly among us without our awareness or intention. 

My hope is this can help us better understand our world. Viruses are not the only contagions we face. Ideas and ideologies are contagions too in a way – some benign, some helpful, some deadly.

Racism, misogyny, and bigotry of all forms are contagions. They spread among us and multiply. We can contract them invisibly and without invitation. We cough them out of our mouths – usually unintentionally. 

But I like to think kindness is contagious too. Even the smallest kind act can ripple out into the world in unforeseen ways, beyond our intention or awareness. Kindness seems to have a life and power of its own, just waiting for us to be host to it.

Peter Schulte

Peter Schulte is the founder and editor of Kindling. Peter is also Senior Digital Engagement Associate for the Pacific Institute and the UN Global Compact's CEO Water Mandate, connecting businesses to sustainable water practices. Peter holds a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature from University of California, Berkeley, and an M.B.A. in Sustainable Systems from Pinchot University. He lives in Bellingham, WA, USA with his wife, son, and cat.

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