Being calm is like being in a small rowboat on a large lake. The motorboats speed by. The waves hit the boat. They threaten to overwhelm it.
The energy from unhappy people is exactly the same. You can choose how it affects you. Do you stand up in your boat and jump up and down, angry that they disturbed your peaceful morning? Doing that only upsets it more.
You can choose to affect them by your actions as well. You can be a force for good by remaining calm. You aren’t adding to the ripples.
When a child falls, he will often look to his parents to see what to do. If they freak out, so will he. If they handle it calmly, so will he. Sick people need to see how to deal with bad situations by watching healthy people deal with them well.
The more peaceful I get, the crazier the world seems to get. It doesn’t seem fair. They should get peaceful along with me. Maybe with time. Meanwhile, I’m trying not to let them rock my boat too much.
This is the same as becoming sober. You don’t notice everybody is drunk until you stop being drunk. Then they are annoying. You don’t notice how everybody reeks of cigarette smoke until you quit smoking.
The trick is to stay calm. Stay sober. Stay peaceful.
Answer the anger with a smile. Don’t yield to it. To yield to it, to agree with it, to follow it is to feed it, to give it energy.
The feeling of anger can be like a bell, calling us to prayer. It can be a reminder to still ourselves and find our center. In this way, a bad situation is sanctified. In this way, pain is a teacher and a friend.
You neutralize a flame with wind or water.
I’m trying to be a calm presence at work, where most of the unbalanced people are. There is still a lot of griping, even though the unhealthy managers are gone. I’m starting to realize that some people aren’t happy unless they are unhappy. Being miserable is their normal. Happiness scares them.
But boy are they harshing my mellow.