Good Virus (2011) – or – Kindness is contagious.

I recently received a screener for the documentary Good Virus. Directed by David Gaz, the film explores the concept of kindness being contagious. This is a film that everyone should see, and others must see.

This is the kind of stuff that I preach to my kids. The golden rule. Roughly, ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’. I’m sure we’ve all heard that before, and it’s pretty much how I try to live my own life.

What David Gaz does, is provide some evidence that being kind, or nice, can actually make you happier and healthier. It will also get you farther in life, make you more respected, and cause others around you to feel better. Far be it from me to try and explain some of the more scientific approaches offered in the film, but there is also a good portion of the movie dedicated to speaking to the average person on the street. It’s here where most viewers will connect.

Just watching this film will make you feel nice. If kindness really is contagious, this movie might be The Ring of feelgood films. I want to be even more kind after watching. It’s no secret that being a better person will make you feel better. Could anyone say that being happy felt terrible? Of course not. Good Virus isn’t all about convincing the viewer that being nice makes you feel good. It’s purpose is to show that your act of kindness can actually cause others to be kind.

Chane't Johnson dresses up as the Good Virus to infect others with kindness.

One of the most interesting points in the film is right at the beginning. All kinds of people are asked, what is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you. At first, nobody can even think of anything. I started thinking about the question myself, and I couldn’t come up with something right away. It’s as if there’s this initial wall built that’s preventing you from thinking of something good. Had they asked, what’s the worst thing someone has ever done to you, I bet the answers would come fast. Eventually people start thinking of something, and the flood gates would open. Once one idea was in their head, hundreds of others caught up. It’s strange to think how kindness can be overlooked.

Steve Sharp spends a small portion of each day spreading some love.

If you head over to the official Good Virus site, you can take a look at their blog where they share all kinds of stories of infectious kindness. My favorite was a story of a woman who went into a coffee shop and left $100 on the counter. She said to keep buying everyone a coffee until the money ran out. When word spread that someone had done that, others started doing it. I’d like to believe that kindness is contagious, and I’d certainly like to try and help it along. Really, how can you not enjoy a film that is about kindness. David Gaz makes a compelling case for being nice, but we should already know this. That’s the real problem here, as a society, we don’t. I’m glad that David Gaz put together this film, and I’ll be showing it to my kids. It’s just a bit sad to think that this film had to be created at all. Being kind is something we should always be doing, but maybe Good Virus will infect us and we’ll all be a little bit more kind.

Under the marquee – Will

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5 Responses to Good Virus (2011) – or – Kindness is contagious.

  1. heather butler says:

    hi ya’ll,
    chane’t johnson was my best friend, i gave her eulogy at the dallas memorial service almost 2.5 years ago – i’ve been trying forever to find that lovely video where she is dressed up as the good virus and she is giving out hugs on the streets of l.a. but i can’t find it anywhere – is there any way you might send me a copy, just to have for myself? i loved that video and sometimes when i’m mourning her (which i do all the time, but sometimes it’s just so painful) i’d just love to see that video again, it reminds of my friend at 30, at 18, at 15, at 12 – so many memories just come together in a joyful celebration, i just love seeing her in that big yellow sunshine/virus/octopus costume.

    thanks, and hope to hear from you soon,
    heather butler

  2. Pingback: Photography By David Gaz | Joindahunt.

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