Friday, April 24, 2015

Contagion, for good and ill

Frank Bruni had a recent NY Times column that reminded me of the chain of high school suicides:
"Between May 2009 and January 2010, five Palo Alto teenagers ended their lives by stepping in front of trains. And since October of last year, another three Palo Alto teenagers have killed themselves that way, prompting longer hours by more sentries along the tracks. The Palo Alto Weekly refers to the deaths as a “suicide contagion.”

Sometimes something similar happens with good acts, and I was reminded of that by this recent story from Israel (about a different kind of chain of kidney donations than I usually write about):

Chain Reaction of Good Will
"Avraham Shapira donated a kidney to a stranger and set off a series of altruistic gestures. A few months later his cousin, Yehuda Rabinovich, was inspired by Shapira and also donated a kidney to a stranger. From there the movement spread around the Shomron region. So far six people have donated kidneys to complete strangers."

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