February 9th, 2009

CRISIS: Danger & Opportunity

Timothy Wilken

The Chinese word for crisis is written by joining two ideograms together. When these ideograms, are presented separately they stand for danger and opportunity.

Crisis-chinese word:

DANGER—Danger of injury if we humans fail to understand. Danger of extinction if we humans act in ignorance.

OPPORTUNITY—Opportunity for growth if we humans understand. Opportunity for survival if we humans act in knowledge.

If we examine our crisis in terms of life, things will become more clear. Crisis is not unique to humankind. Crisis is the general condition of all life forms. It is the driving force of evolution. Risk and opportunity. Survival of the fittest. The life form that survives and evolves is the one that can grasp the opportunity and avoid the risk. This is the very process of life. It is the engine of evolution. Today’s crisis is simply our turn. We humans are at a point of major transformation. If we humans are to have a future, we must begin by facing the truth.


One of the tenets of wisdom, is that the events in our lives always offer us an opportunity for growth and greater understanding. Sometimes we grow the most in response to the greatest adversity and difficulty. My wife Judy says this bit of wisdom can be thought of as a psychological corollary of Newton’s Third Law of Motion: “For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

So we might state Judy’s corollary as: For every negative action in our lives, we can choose a positive reaction. Herein lies the opportunity. When an adverse event occurs in my life, I can ask, “What am I supposed to learn from this event. How am I supposed to grow and become stronger by the lessons that can be harvested from this event.”

Today our world is filled with a great many adverse and difficult events. You may know that I believe that much of present humanity is committed to adversary and neutral mechanisms that no longer work. Humans using adversay and neutral mechanisms must by definition produce adversary and neutral results. Our collective actions create an evermore powerful force for disorder on planet Earth. This force is anti-Human, anti-Life, and even anti-Planet.

The negative impact we humans are having with our adversary and neutral actions is highly leveraged by our ever-growing numbers. Stated simply, there are too many of us. In a word—overpopulation.

Too many humans choosing adversary and neutral actions levered by our advanced technology generating highly leveraged adversary and neutral effects including climate change, global warming, mass extinction, and declining biodiversity.

In addition to negative effects on the planet, we are generating many negative effects on each other. Adversity is the result when humans work against each other. Adversity produces CONFLICT — war, terrorism, crime, poverty, and homelessness.

Humanity is at breakpoint! We must grow up. We must put away adversity. We must move to synergy. And, we best do it NOW!

Jump into synergic science by reading We Can All Win!, If you are creating a new organization, or desire to synergize an old one, read Ortegrity. If you’re interested in how to make decisions in a win-win world read about Synocracy & Sociocracy.

Looking for a guide to synergic decision, read a  Synergic Version of Robert’s Rules of Order.

Read the Synergic Future Series:
1) Beyond Property 2) Redefining Wealth 3) Synergic Wealth 4) Synergic Wealth II: Deepening Our Understanding 5) Trustegrities — Protecting the Future and 6) Synergic Guardians — Protecting the Future.

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