Crisis and the Opportunity to ChangeSubmitted by Mission Financial Planning on March 25th, 2020
Yesterday, in our daily (Zoom) staff meeting*, Gigi mentioned a quote about crisis and change from a book she’s been reading on the topic -- Jared Diamond’s “Upheaval – Turning Points for Nations in Crisis”. I asked her to send a quote and got so much more.
I'm sharing Gigi’s comments below, I read them from a perspective of inspiring personal and practice change and invite you to do the same.
In his prologue Diamond explores “What is crisis” and illustrates through two anecdotes, one at the personal level and one at the national level.
“Crises, and pressures for change, confront individuals and their groups at all levels, ranging from single people, to teams, to businesses, to nations, to the whole world.” “Successful coping … requires selective change. That’s as true of nations as of individuals.”
“The challenge, for nations as for individuals in crisis, is to figure out which parts of their identities are already functioning well and don’t need changing, and which parts are no longer working and do need changing. Individuals or nations under pressure must take honest stock of their abilities and values.”
“They need the courage to recognize what must be changed in order to deal with the new situation… to find new solutions [to make changes, Gigi’s insertion] compatible with their abilities and with the rest of their being.”
He also defines crisis to have several related meanings based on Greek origin: to separate, to decide, to draw a distinction, and turning point… a change in circumstance where before is different than after.
So the Turning Point “represents a challenge creating pressure to find new coping methods… when former coping methods are inadequate to resolve the challenge.”
So my [Gigi’s] take:
Hence, facing a crisis is an opportunity for change (which, as a rule, we generally don’t like). But taking steps to change (adapt, be resilient) helps to transition out of the crisis stage. We might not like the new normal, we may be grieving, any number of additional reactions may be present, but being able to problem solve, or prioritize, to be real about one’s strengths and weaknesses, to take any small steps to change, and pat ourselves on the back, and give self-compassion can perhaps lessen some of the length and severity of the trauma/crisis.
*Since our staff is working from home, we’ve been having daily Zoom check-ins, to be sure we’re moving forward on projects and to answer each other’s’ questions about work, but almost more importantly to stay connected with one another. So far meetings have included pop-ins from dogs and daughters...