“The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger–but recognize the opportunity.”
― John F. Kennedy
I never realized how these words of John F. Kennedy hold any truth in them, till last month. How can someone turn a crisis into an opportunity; does not matter if he is a Chinese, Indian, American or any other national. But what I have been experiencing and seeing around me since the natural disaster affected my hometown, has surely made me realized Mr. Kennedy did not express his thought without checking its validity.
Now my situation best described by the great American romance writer Susan Elizabeth Phillips in her book Breathing Room, which says, “I finally figured out that not every crisis can be managed. As much as we want to keep ourselves safe, we can’t protect ourselves from everything. If we want to embrace life, we also have to embrace chaos.”
As most of you know, Phailin played a devastating role at our place. Although the cyclone had no direct impact on my hometown, but next day we had to face the worst flood that affected our place so badly in last few decade.
The flood water entered most of the Godowns and shops. Most of the businessmen in our small town were clueless on how to deal with such crisis.
In next few days, we saw some people selling their products those affected by flood waters on huge discounts. Like always discount matters a lot to us Indian, as we believe we are born street smart. So it was a great deal for most of the people, and in few days only all the products were sold. The discount sale did not end there. It continued and it’s still continuing… but this time they were selling all those old stock which were nothing but garbage for them before the flood. And our intelligent people are forgetting that, the sellers too are Indians and they are also street smart. People are buying those shoes, clothes which they have rejected long time back. And It all due to that mindset of us customers, which makes us believe the difference between Rupees 999 and Rupees 1000 a huge one.
The businessmen are not the only one who turned crisis into opportunity and made a profit in thousands selling goods which were tired of waiting for someone to realize their worth. Few among the great politicians too used this crisis as the opportunity too. The relief that reached our place, helped them in wooing the voters, as election is round corner.
We somehow forget that we live in an opportunistic world; where things are measured using the parameters as either Profit or loss, advantage or disadvantage. Be it in a crisis, or in good times, we all search for that small ladder that would help us to move one step up….
“You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” -Rahm Emanuel
Now I wonder why we always take our personal crisis too seriously as if it was the end of the world for us! We need to see, a broken relationship providing us a chance to get into a better relationship, losing a job as an opportunity or need to find a better job or start a venture that is our own. It’s all there in… how we see… and how we think.
“Successful people recognize crisis as a time for change – from lesser to greater, smaller to bigger.” -Edwin Louis Cole