Cheerful News: Happiness Is Contagious

Group of friends IS074-047 (AP/Image Source) all smiles, smile, smiling, happy, happiness, friendship,
AP/Image Source
Weekly commentary by CBS Evening News chief Washington correspondent and Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer.
My great teacher Eric Sevareid once said it was important to maintain the courage of one's doubts as well as the courage of one's convictions.

That has never been hard for me; the older I get, the less sure I am about everything.

So I was glad to find out that something I always thought was true, turned out to be just that - and now we even have the scientific evidence to prove it.

I've always been attracted to happy people for the selfish reason they put me in a better humor. Call me a cockeyed optimist, but I just don't enjoy cynics and doomsayers, so I stay clear of them.

Well, a respected British medical journal called BMJ has published a 20-year study of 4,700 people which shows that happiness is not only good for you, it is actually contagious.

It spreads like the flu!

The researchers told the Washington Post that happiness is far more potent than just making another person laugh. The study shows that when one person in a group is happy, it increases the possibility - sometimes by as much as 34 percent - that others in the group will also be happy, everyone from a spouse to a next-door neighbor, and the impact can be long-lasting.

With the state of the news these days, we're finding this out not a moment too soon, so I'm happy to know it - and pardon me for being smug, but another thing that always makes me happy is knowing I was right.