Finding Direction:  Contagious Spread of Growth and Decay 2.3.5

Just as Decay can spread through fear and contagion, Growth can also spread through societies, groups, and families because it too is contagious.

Consider Erich Fromm’s discussion of this contagion from The Heart of Man:

“The most important condition for the development of the love of life in the child is for him to be with people who love life.  Love of life is just as contagious as love of death.  It communicates itself without words, explanations, and certainly without any preaching that one ought to love life.  It is expressed in gestures more than in ideas, in the tone of voice more than in words.  It can be observed in the whole atmosphere of a person or group, rather than in the explicit principles and rules according to which they organize their lives.  Among the specific conditions necessary for the development of biophilia [love of life] I shall mention the following: warm, affectionate contact with others during infancy; freedom, and absence of threats; teaching – by example rather than by preaching – of the principles conducive to inner harmony and strength; guidance in the ‘art of living’; stimulating influence of and response to others; a way of life that is genuinely interesting.  The very opposite of these conditions furthers the development of necrophilia [love of death]: growing up among death-loving people; lack of stimulation; fright; conditions which make life routinized and uninteresting; mechanical order instead of one determined by direct and human relations among people.”

Again – read this description.  Look at the details and test the argument in your own mind and heart, from your own observations and life experiences.

Phyllis Ballata

Without Words We Cannot Think

“In our every deliberation, we must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations.”  The Great Law of the Haudenosaunee [Iroquois], ca. 1000-1450


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