Thank you for being a reader of Transition Edge. Please feel free to forward it to friends who you think might enjoy it too.
I’m Grant Symons. I convene Transition Edge to help us understand how we can transition to a low carbon sustainable world using leading thinking and practices.
"Never waste a good crisis"
"A crisis is the only time government gets anything done"
"Only a crisis, actual or perceived, produces real change"
- Milton Friedman
Sounds like a crisis is a unique point in time. Just the use of the word might instil a level of fear or trepidation in some of us, perhaps a level of excitement in others. When it comes to protecting our own comfort, reputation, sanity, interests or indeed life, we all experience crises from time to time. What matters deeply to one person or organisation, may not even be on the radar of another.
Lets get aligned on what we mean:
Crisis definition - (Cambridge dictionary)
- a time of great disagreement, confusion or suffering
- an extremely difficult or dangerous point in a situation
krisis - The noun crisis comes from the Latinized form of the Greek word krisis, meaning "turning point in a disease." At such a moment, the person with the disease could get better or worse, it is a critical moment.
Usually a time that passes
From the definition and origin, we understand that a crisis is normally (not always) a relatively short time or phase that is 'critical'. It is the time when things may get much worse (a deepening crisis) or improve, and it might be a time when we are forced to make decisions and take actions, which until that point, were considered unnecessary or not an option.
In some circumstances a prolonged state of crisis may exist, for example a significant scale crisis such as an ongoing war, or ones own psychological state may hold us in a (perceived or real) state of crisis.
Normally, we will experience a level of abnormal frustration, tension, discomfort, fear and perhaps terror or horror as conditions and events change quickly around us. As a result, we make necessary changes in mindset, beliefs and physical state and we may take actions that ensure our survival or survival of those around us, all in a relatively short interval.
Once a crisis has passed and the memory faded, we may look back and wonder what all the fuss was about, as HG Wells quote points out.