December 1

Today's quotation:

The worst thing in your life may contain seeds of the best.  When you can see crisis as an opportunity, your life becomes not easier, but more satisfying.

Joe Kogel

Today's Meditation:

Many of the best things that have been developed in life have come as the result of crisis--something has happened that has forced people to reach deep inside themselves if they want to come through the crisis.  A crisis can force us to search for resources within ourselves that we haven't had to access before, and doing so can open our eyes to abilities and knowledge and skills that we simply didn't know that we had.

We hear story after story about people who have done amazing things and have shown great resiliency and leadership and creativity during crisis situations.  Crises, more than anything else, can make us face "sink or swim" circumstances in which we literally must do something new or different in order even to survive sometimes.  And when we're forced to face such situations head-on, we can access inner resources that are simply amazing.

Many people don't face crises at all, though.  They tend to roll up into a ball and hope the situation passes, or hoping that someone else will deal with things for them.  These people will get nothing out of the crisis--no learning at all, no new insights or discoveries.  If they're not well suited for dealing with intense situations, then one can't really blame them for being unable to deal with things, but the fact is that for them, a crisis never really is an opportunity, and that's a shame--a crisis can be one of the best opportunities to grow as human beings that we'll ever get.

Despair most certainly can rob us of our strength and vigor.  It can keep us from seeing potential and possibility, and it can turn us into victims when we should be doing our best to overcome our crisis.  If we're able to face a crisis with our hearts and spirits at full strength, then we can learn from it and let it help us to become stronger people.  I've faced crises in my life in both ways, I have to say, and given the results, I hope that I'm able to see any future crisis as an opportunity to use what I've learned in life so far to deal with something new and different, all the while learning even more.

Questions to consider:

Why do crises so often seem to be so drastic?  Why are so many people so unable to deal with them effectively?

How might the same situation be seen as a crisis by some but as an opportunity by others?

What kinds of things might we learn--about ourselves and others--from crises?
For further thought:

The first question to be answered by any individual or any social group facing a hazardous situation, is whether the crisis is to be met as a challenge to strength or as an occasion for despair.

Harry Emerson Fosdick

more on crisis



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