cri-sis: noun [krahy-sis]
- a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, esp. for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.
op-por-tu-ni-ty: noun [op-er-too-ni-tee]
- a favorable or advantageous circumstance or combination of circumstances; a chance for progress or advancement.
Crisis and opportunity. The actual definitions are very similar, in fact they share the same character in written Chinese. But because they each have such distinctly different and incredibly powerful connotations, their usage drastically colors our thoughts and influences our perception, of both our own lives and the larger world. Crisis implies a certain helplessness; a scared, and perhaps futile, reaction to a large, unknown and external force. Opportunity reflects a sense of confidence. A focused and purposeful response to the current conditions, designed to ultimately improve one’s position.
Constantly changing circumstances are an immutable fact, both far outside our comprehension and our control. However, accepting change and then choosing to see and then act upon opportunities, rather than being swept aside by random crises, will yield a much richer and more meaningful life.