The following originally appeared as a Facebook post on March 7, 2017, and is reproduced here by permission.
PSA: everyone is moving too fast. It’s chaos. See our dictator & co. But it’s everyone. Myself included! My old mantra for students: the only life and death matters are life and death (and hey, I experience several of those regularly). But people are not reading carefully, not being mindful of others, making all sorts of messy calls, information is getting warped and lost. Please, take a second and breathe and think and give yourself a chance to do things right!
Anxiety and mania are close relatives, and this can be a very tough season for many. Please make space for yourself and for others — that’s a very generous act, and to do it right involves communication; not just ignoring them either! Ask them to slow down, ask them to read; do the same for yourself.
Challenge that American addiction to speed — figuratively and literally! The worst writing I have ever seen has come from prescription stimulants and too much coffee, and sometimes both. Not judging you, as I know some of you have to be on it, but for those that take it recreationally or for work — and there are many! — just FYI, I’m very productive and I don’t go near either. In fact, I drink chamomile tea and such to slow down. That’s also what I drink at readings and for public speaking. Some might benefit from this. I used to use coffee mainly for the gym — and I’ve dabbled in butter coffee practices — and stimulants felt best suited there!
Whatever it is, for the sake of yourself, for those under your care, for those around you, slow the pulse of your world as much as you can. There is much ancient wisdom around this. Anxiety and mania can be very destructive. And elders (I count myself as one of the Newly Olds), don’t be afraid to tell younger people this and help them — stop adapting to their suicidal rushing instead. Let’s be mindful and deliberate in this truly terrifying time.