A Lesson from Kanji, April 24, 2020

The world is changing.
Perhaps it has already changed.

Many people are calling it the crisis of a lifetime. A podcast I listened to pointed out that a lesson can be found in the Chinese characters (kanji) for “crisis”:
2020-04-24_CrisisCrisis(危機・きき) = Danger + Opportunity

(Note for this reading, 機 (ki), we’ll take the older meaning of opportunity, not the newer meaning of machine)

Right now, we are facing the biggest unemployment surge since 2008, and possible since the Great Depression. People are getting sick from a disease we still know very little about. People who are working are worried. People are at home and worried. Some are worried about losing their home. Many people don’t know what to do. Or they have something in mind, and are waiting to see what will happen. Waiting for normalcy, on a plan, or waiting to or for help.

The biggest danger, is one that we’ve always faced, but is even bigger now: the danger of “Too Late”.

As Martin Luther King Jr said:

We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. Procrastination is still the thief of time. Life often leaves us standing bare, naked, and dejected with a lost opportunity. The tide in the affairs of men does not remain at flood—it ebbs. We may cry out desperately for time to pause in her passage, but time is adamant to every plea and rushes on. Over the bleached bones and jumbled residues of numerous civilizations are written the pathetic words, “Too late.” There is an invisible book of life that faithfully records our vigilance or our neglect.

But in this dangerous time, there is opportunity. Opportunity to do good. Opportunity to help people, and donate time, energy, or money to that cause.

An Opportunity to start that venture that you’ve always wanted to start.

To do that art project you’ve always wanted to do.

To learn that language, or topic you’ve always been curious about.

To reach out to that friend, that you’ve thought about for months.

In these dangerous times, you have time and a chance to explore and understand yourself and your beliefs in ways that time before may have prevented you from doing. Keep in mind, that evil also has an opportunity here. And when you don’t step up, it allows apathy and other bad things to come in.

So in this crisis, take the opportunity to help, create, and do something good.

Until next time, STAY HELPFUL.


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