Peace trumps busy

Christmas is over. Everyone has been busy.

Did you feel joy and peace, or did you only feel busy and chaotic?

The next time somebody asks, “How are you?” or “How have you been?”, consider NOT listing all of the activities you have been involved in. When asked, “What have you been up to?”,  would be a good time to share with the person what you have been doing, which can be quite interesting. I like to hear about what is happening in a person’s life, just not the glorification of busy. I don’t need to know that you car-pooled here, went to six stores, piano lessons, PTA, and softball. Instead, tell me what “Susie” likes about her piano playing and softball. I want to know how the busyness of your life affects you and your family. Verbalizing such information might help you see the value of what you are doing. Or maybe it will cause you to see some things are unnecessary and could be eliminated from your schedules, thus making life less hectic.

When you ask someone “How are you?” do you really want a run-down of their obligations, responsibilities and social calendar? Or do you ask in place of saying, “Hello, it is so good to see you.”? Or are you actually interested in how they are? Let’s start asking about what we want to hear and let’s start answering the question asked of us.

People know if they ask me how I am, my response is bound to be an exuberant, “happy!” or a blubbering, “oh, I am so glad you asked, I could really use a hug, a cup of coffee, a sounding board…..”

We each have priorities different from anyone else. I want to hear about your priorities. I want to know what elicits your emotions. I want to know what moves you, what you are passionate about. I bet it isn’t a trip to the grocer or pharmacy.

Do you know the environmentalist’s theory of “Leave No Trace”? It means when you are playing outdoors you should leave it as you found it. Footprints are the only mark which should be left. I suggest we do the exact opposite with humans. Leave a trace on every person you meet. Make footprints on the hearts of those with whom you have contact.

Every encounter during which you attempt to share peace with another brings peace to you…, stop the glorification of busy and contribute to an epidemic of peace.

Wishing you peace in the new year.