I have been paying attention for a while to the convergence of scientific findings and spiritual wisdom. At the end of a Vipassana Buddhist meditation comes a dedication, really a prayer, which says in part, “May the goodness resulting from my practice today, bring benefit to all beings.” From a study published by the National Academy of Sciences comes confirmation that “Acts of Kindness Spread Surprisingly Easily: Just a Few People Can Make a Difference.”
It seems that people who benefit from other’s cooperation and generosity really do “pay it forward,” so kindness has a ripple effect to dozens or hundreds of people. If my meditation helps me be a kinder person, it will rub off on everyone around me, and from them to others. And yes, the ill feeling from people who are unkind and uncooperative spreads the same way. I have both the carrot and the stick, of knowing that my kindness will spread, but so will my ill will.