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Corona and the Domino Effect of Pain

The corona virus can teach us about the domino effect of pain:


This article argues two main points, from the perspective of a leader and the ones being lead. As leaders: We need to become leaders with good hearts. We need to become leaders who process the pain we have been inflicted with and set an end to this domino effect. We need to be leaders with a mature level of self-awareness that can prevent inflicting pain on others, and health their own wounds with compassion, kindness and forgiveness. As civilians: We need to become civilians who recognize leaders with good hearts. We need to be aware of hurtful comments and take it as it is. Summarising the virus' teachings and the message to all leaders: Go to therapy and heal your wounds, to be able to save the world! The virus COVID-19 cases have just crossed the verge of 1,000,000 infections worldwide recording more than 50,000 deaths. COVID-19 has taken over the lives of everyone. People are dying, Businesses are running out of money, stock markets are plummeting, industries are searching for new opportunities in healthcare and the digital market is getting more attention than ever. The amount of social media posts on how we are supposed to wash our hands to reduce infection risk and tips on how to manage working from home have surged. As we speak, our lives are changing. For the first time, rich as well as poor countries are affected by the same crisis and for the first time - all humans are in the same boat. As always, there is a silver lining: Working from home and being self isolated is giving us a new opportunity to reflect. To reflect on the way we lead our lives and the way we lead the world. What can this virus teach us? A website called visualcapitalist.com has gathered data on the spread of this virus and the impact of social distancing as a defense for containing this infectious disease:

  • 1 person can infect 2.5 people by Day 30 if social exposure is reduced by 75%

  • 1 person can infect 15 people by Day 30 if social exposure is reduced by 50%

  • 1 person can infect 406 people by Day 30 if social exposure is reduced by 0%

At the foot of this blog I have inserted the infographic of this calculation by visualcapitalist.com for your reference.


The domino effect of the virus The virus spread as described above reminds of the domino effect. Patient zero starts the chain reaction or domino effect. With every sneeze, cough and touching of surfaces the virus can infect 406 people, according to calculation above and without inflicting a reduction of social exposure. Reflecting on this huge domino effect of the virus that is impacting our lives so tremendously, I tried to take this domino effect of the virus to a psychological level. And I remembered that someone once told me: Only hurt people hurt people. And I wanted to share the realization I had on how society works based on the domino effect of pain and how awareness of this principle and compassion towards pain can put an end to the domino effect of pain and suffering in this world.



The domino effect of pain Hurt comes from places of fear and pain. It is as infectious as the current corona virus. Hurting or causing pain of any size is not to be judged. Whether it is the hurt caused by a genocide, hurt caused by gang rapes, domestic violence or by breaking someone's heart: All sizes of hurt are personal and all sizes of hurt have one common source - pain. Only people, who have been hurt by others, either magnify their hurt to others (like the virus, 1 to 406) or replicate their hurt to others (like the domino, 1 to 1). Both cases cause an infinite chain reaction within our society. If you have been hurt and have not processed your pain, you become blinded by your own pain and start inflicting your frustration, your hurt on others, without even realizing it. The issue becomes bigger if you are a leader - the more people you are exposed to, the bigger the target surface to inflict pain. Without processing the pain you have been through, you are likely to mirror this pain towards your family, your colleagues, the teams you are leading or the companies you are leading. Now, imagine if you are leading an entire country! Not processing pain and therefore inflicting it on others has impact on your immediate surrounding and the impact marks itself in history and current headlines with genocides, gang rapes and chronic violence throughout society. Stopping the domino effect of pain The bigger the responsibility of human beings, the more stringent we need to be, to become leaders with a certain level of awareness and emotional intelligence. At the same time, civilians carry the responsibility to recognize hurtful behavior and express our freedom of speech with compassion towards those being hurt. This world is made of humans. This world is ruled by humans. We need to make sure, that our chosen leaders have processed their pain and have gone through a certain psychological screening, before leading this world. We need good hearted decision makers. We need leaders with a mature level of self awareness. My father always says: a boat that has a hole cannot save others from drowning. I am not saying that only people who haven’t been hurt should be leading our world. They don't exist. I am saying that we can heal our wounds, and we should heal our wounds before taking on the responsibility of trying to fix others, lead others, whether countries or companies. And how do we process pain? I'm no therapist, but you can count on the "the antidote of the virus" or "the antidote of fear" from last month's blog post: Love. Love, forgiveness (to those who have inflicted pain on you), compassion, generosity, empathy, understanding and kindness can break the domino effect of pain and fear. What is amazing: Once you start consciously giving love and compassion to your surroundings, it will come back to you. And we create a new chain reaction or domino effect of kindness, compassion and love. For the virus: social distancing, as shown at the beginning of this article, will stop the domino effect of the virus. For hurt: compassion, love, an understanding and realization of the fact that only hurt people hurt people, will stop the domino effect of pain. This realization alone can create a level of compassion, forgiveness and love in ourselves that we can freely spread to others. So, the summary of the virus' teachings and my message to all leaders: Go to therapy! Understand yourself first, before you can lead others successfully. UI



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