Lots of things are contagious that we should give attention. It’s not just the flu or the new coronavirus that flared up in China. It’s important to note that things which are contagious are not limited to sicknesses.

Galatians 5:9 reads that “A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump.”

Our actions, words and attitudes can spread like wildfires. It only take a small amount. Those things can move across this world faster than anything else and they typically gain a new life from one person to the next.

The church kids in my Wednesday night class are a perfect example. A certain group of well-behaved and attentive kids can be a joy to be around. However, introduce a Mountain Dew and candy-induced kid to the group and chaos can ensue quickly. Suddenly, that one kid has affected several others and their attention level becomes nonexistent.

There are many forms of stumbling blocks.

Most of us have had the learning experiences equated with lying. One lie gets covered up by another lie and then another lie has to cover up for that one. At some point, it gets hard to keep the story straight. It’s even worse when a group of people participate in a lie and try to keep their stories straight. Honesty never needs a cover-up.

Rumors typically follow that same path, but in a worse way. There is a game where a group of people try to pass around a sentence or message. The first person tells a statement to another and it gets passed around the entire circle. It’s oftentimes quite humorous to hear what ends up being relayed to the very end. It’s usually completely different from the original message. That’s all fun and games, but real life isn’t that funny when it happens. Real life almost always goes in the negative directions when it comes to hearsay and spreading rumors.

Our physical actions are much the same. Words aren’t always necessary. A bad look or a physical temper tantrum can spark the negative in those nearby. The world gravitates toward the bad things much quicker than the good.

Arguments and brawls are more entertaining. I would be upset if I went to a hockey game and there wasn’t a fight.

The Kansas, Kansas State game on Tuesday night was an example of how quickly these things can escalate when you mix a hot temper along with pride and ego into a lack of self-discipline.

After getting his pocket picked, a Kansas player then blocked the shot of his competitor on the other end of the court. It was a great block, I think the ball is still orbiting around the planet. However, he then stood over the guy and taunted him like the Incredible Hulk. That’s when things got contagious. In a short amount of time, players were punched, a guy from the Kansas State bench injected himself into the situation to keep things escalating, a spectator lady was nearly trampled, fans were cheering it on and WWE got involved with a failed chair-smash attempt. The only thing missing was the Kansas Jayhawk mascot crowd-surfing on top of the pile.

Dick Vitale, the past-his-prime announcer for ESPN, noted that he hadn’t seen anything like that since the Pistons brawl at the Palace.

An unwarranted taunt resulted in a lot of bad things happening.

And then there’s the referees. In their great wisdom, they thought it was a good idea to put more time on the clock and bring the kids back out to play for another second.

We are all a form of leaven. What kind of leaven do you want to be?

Rodney Beaver is a sports writer for the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at rodneyb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/rodneybeaver .

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