We Choose Our Response To Life’s Little Stresses

“Smile, Breathe, Go Slowly.” –Thich Nhat Hahn

The harried mother at the checkout line in the grocery trying to corral her small children.

The man in the queue at the airport gate agent’s podium because weather has caused yet another flight delay.

The sports official who must deal with an angry coach. On live TV.

The sales person dealing with a disappointed customer.

Parents who are blessed with teen-aged kids–need I say more?

Back in my early years as a spiritual seeker, I immersed myself in Zen Buddhism. Partly because I read about the Beatnik culture (cool, Zen, espresso–I still like espresso sprinkled with a little cinnamon).

I was never Buddhist by religion. But the old Zen masters had much to teach about living. Thich Nhat Hahn is in that tradition.

I’ve found myself at that gate agent’s podium. She’s frustrated. People all around are frustrated. To be honest, I’m not happy. But usually you can’t change anything, so you must just go with the flow. I must have a nice smile, because I take a deep breath, release, smile, and approach the one person who can help me in that situation. I can see her relax a little. And find the best alternative.

This Friday with a week behind us where maybe we haven’t done all we set out to do–this Friday where we can get frustrated with life with political nonsense all over the world–this Friday where we face another weekend like the weekend before–

Pause; Smile; Breathe; Thank God for your blessings; Go slowly.

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