Be calm.

A small suggestion:

Try to be a calming influence on the world. 

There are already enough people in the world doing the opposite. Constantly asserting how harried, all consuming, and fast paced our world is. How stressful modern life can be. How there is never enough time. Always too much work. Far too many responsibilities. 

I do not discount their feelings. Nor do I discount the realities that propagate and perpetuate these feelings.  

Still, my advice: Try not to be that person. Or try to be less of that person. 

I don't try to argue with the chronically busy and perpetually overwhelmed. I don't ask them to take stock in all they have. I don't list the all the modern conveniences, medical advancements, and technological developments that prior generations would have yearned to possess. I don't remind them that there have been far more frightening and darker days in our country's history, and they we are so fortunate to be living through a time of relative peace and prosperity in comparison to so many that came before us. I don't ask them to count their blessings.  

I simply present myself as a calm, relaxed, confident individual whenever possible. I am too keenly aware of how incredibly fortunate I am. 

And when I hear someone lamenting about how busy or overwhelmed they are or asserting how busy and overwhelmed others seem to be, I often say something life:

"Aren't we lucky that we're able to be so busy? Can you imagine how miserable life must be for those who are bored? For those who have nothing to do? For people who hate their jobs or don't feel like they are making a difference in this world? Or even worse, imagine how hard it must be for the people who can't find a job? Or those who are too ill or disabled to do what they want to do? Being busy is a privilege. It's a privilege to have a life so full and eventful." 

I don't know if this helps, but I think it sometimes does. When I tell someone that I'm never too busy to lend an ear or a hand, I often see them relax a little. When I tell them how privileged I feel to be as busy as I am, I often see them slow down a bit. That crazed look in their eyes diminishes. Sometimes they even smile.

Try it. Try to be a zone of calm and relaxation in this otherwise harried, all consuming world. 

Instead of saying that "teachers are overwhelmed" (something I hear a lot), instead say, "Teachers are so fortunate to work with kids everyday and change lives."

Instead of saying that "technology has turned life into a 24 hour work day," tell people about the joy of being able to see and speak to the faces of your nephew and niece from across the country with the simple press of a button. 

Instead of telling people how time consuming parenting can be, tell a story about a moment when your children filled your heart with more joy than you thought was humanly possible. Or the way your three year old son say Star Whores instead of Star Wars.

Instead of telling someone how busy you are, tell them how lucky you are to be so busy that the television hasn't been turned on in five days. 

This isn't to say that I don't feel busy or harried or overwhelmed at times. This isn't to say that the pace of life can't be tough for me to maintain at times. I just choose not to talk about it much. It's already been said. It's being said around me all the time. I choose instead to focus on the good fortune that I have today and all the blessings of my life. 

Then I talk about these blessings to the busy, crazed, overwhelmed people around me. I try to be a calm, confident point of perspective in their life. I try to be the eye of the storm. They place they can go for some peaceful and quiet.

Try it. Try to be the calm one. The one who isn't too busy or overwhelmed.

Start by talking a good game, and perhaps soon, you will believe it, too.