The Chinese term for “crisis” involves two characters; one means danger, and the other, “opportunity.” “Opportune,” the root of the word “opportunity” means “auspicious, advantageous, and favorable,” a set of circumstances that reveals possibilities that were previously hidden. A crisis is a paradox that contains two ends of the spectrum containing both fear and hopeful possibility. When we hear the word “crisis,” the tendency is to associate it with the “danger” side of the term, and neglect to recognize that crises also contain the seeds of previously inconceivable possibilities that may not have been visible in pre-crisis times. In the English language, “crisis” has its origin in the Greek “krisis” meaning “a decisive turning point in the progress of a disease.” So, according to both definitions, we do seem to be in a bonafide crisis.
The Challenges of a Crisis
A crisis is a time of infinite possibilities, both positive and negative. Associating it with its aspects is useful in preparing for possible challenges to come. There is a danger in being preoccupied with the dark perspective and neglecting to recognize the opportunities that have opened up in the transition between the old order and the new one.