Hi, I’m Brett Prince.

Sometimes I wonder whether some people are (even subconsciously) rooting for a global pandemic. Something to break up the routine. Some drama to feed the entertainment/content-hungry populace.

One day I was watching a show on TV where some researchers were out watching a couple of lionesses sleep in mid-day. This is not as exciting as it sounds. Sure, they are beautiful and majestic, and were quite resplendent and golden amid the grasses and wildflowers. The gutted zebra nearby was quite a sight. But cats are cats. They sleep 16 out of every 24 hours.

A gust of wind lifted off the hat of a fellow in a neighboring jeep, and it fell on the grass, just a few feet from the vehicle. This was about 30 feet from the lions, who were lazy, glutted, oblivious sleeping cats. So this guy decides to chance it, and slowly opened the back of the jeep and quietly stepped out to retrieve his hat. I watched this activity intently.

The SECOND the hatless man’s feet hit the grass, the lions rose, alert, crouching, staring him down. I must confess at that moment, I was torn. Of course, I didn’t want the man to be chased by lions right on camera and ripped to bloody pieces while he screamed for mercy, but then again, he had stepped out of his vehicle right in front of carnivores in the wild, risking his life to get his hat. Luckily for the man in question and my battling conscience, he jumped right back in the jeep, forever abandoning his hat to the Serengeti.

But my point is that I understand the pull of the drama, pain, routine disruption that a kill in Africa, a Hollywood scandal or a global pandemic promises.

I believe a stronger pull exists. Can you imagine if ideas were to infect like viruses? The expression of love? A good laugh? The act of dropping a grudge? The decision to cut the cord of hatred, regret or anger that binds us to another? An act of kindness? A decision to forgive and move on?

For this type of pandemic to start: 1) a new idea must emerge; 2) it must infect humans and cause serious impact; and 3) it must spread easily and sustainedly (continue without interruption) among humans.

If I am infected with a certain idea, an impulse, an irrepressible feeling of lightness and laughter, and pass it on to everyone I casually encounter, who in turn is infected, who in turn passes it on. . .

Of course there will always be those naturally immune to this infection (like the Grinch, born with a heart two sizes too small!) but the rest, the majority, enough, would be touched, reached, infected, inspired. Then what?

Just imagine.

– Brett Prince