Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Is Crises a Catalyst?



I've been doing some thinking about crises. We certainly have had a few over the last couple ofyears.

The way I see it, there cannot be change or evolution, without crises. We simply would be too happy doing what we have always done. Unfortunately for us, what we have always done is no longer sustainable and being the magnificent creatures we are, we'll now find ways to get ourselves out of the messes we've created by being unconscious to other life forms and our planet.

We need a certain amount of fear to get us going. Otherwise we sit fat and happy, doing the same things day after day, complacent in our ignorance.

At no other time in history, however, have we had the ability to connect with each other as we do now. This ability to synthesize, utilizing the brilliance of each person's natural gifts, will bring us to a new frontier.

No where is this more telling than the nuclear catastrophe unfolding in Japan. The technology is antiquated and built in a dangerous location. The thinking behind nuclear energy by the Japanese people, however, is right on. Their desire to free themselves from fossil fuel addiction is very forward thinking. It is the technology that needs to be modernized. The plants were built in the 1970's and are no longer considered safe - especially with spent fuel rods stored at the top of the building - a relic by today's standards. But maybe we need an entirely new technology - maybe we need something clean and safe. Maybe it is time for our best and brightest to work at solving the world's problems and not head off to Wall Street to make oodles of money, actually bringing our world to the brink of economic disaster with their financial machinations for more, more, more.

Would any of this happen without the crises we've faced? I don't think so. We would all still be thinking that buying stuff equates happiness. We need to get the stuffing scared out of us to move forward. And I believe we will now go in that direction. It is time for humanity to move into a new evolutionary stage.

Crises can be a catalyst for change. An opportunity to work together to solve the issues of our time, as it brings home the notion that we are interconnected in ways unimaginable just a few years ago. 

18 comments:

maggie's garden said...

Totally agree with this....on a personal level...I remember the most challenging times of change in my life brought forth the most significant growth.

Brian Miller said...

crisis, tragedy, pain is a catalyst...we share a common bond and begin to see beyond ourselves...the only problem is we have a very short term memory...

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Could not agree more! I am so anxious to get our solar/wind power in place. Just think, had I had it last week I would not have been without power in the middle of the night ..... In retrospect, I am sure the Japanese are wondering about the wisdom od building those plant. You are right, they do need to be updated.

Jeff D'Antonio said...

Sort of like when an alcoholic reaches rock bottom and realizes that it's "change or die"?

Yeah, I know a little something about that.

But, like Brian said, we have short memories - once the crisis is over, we always seem to go back to doing what we were doing before.

Recovering from crisis mode has to be accompanied by the will to understand how we got there, and the drive to make sure we never get there again. And unfortunately, that sort of thing usually degenerates quickly into finger pointing and politicizing and placing the blame in all the wrong places. Which allows the people who got us there in the first place to remain in power, and thus be in a position to get us there again.

Grandmother said...

Thoughtful post. Surely that interconnectedness could lead to creative solutions. We're all in it together in whole new ways.

Hilary said...

I so agree.. crisis/necessity does bring about change. We share this problem.. hopefully we can share the solutions.

DJan said...

I think crises are important catalysts for change, but they are not the only ones. I look forward to seeing what comes of all these upheavals we are dealing with right now.

ds said...

Let us hope for, and work toward, change. Together...

d page said...

It's been documented through the centuries that crisis often precedes illumination/awakening.
Crisis pushes us beyond our ego's defense mechanisms, allowing the lightening bolt "aha moment" to occur.

Linda Pendleton said...

Crisis does bring opportunity for growth and new awareness, and in today's world of communication, we do see how connected we all are, more than ever. But I do agree with Brian and Jeff, that we have short memories. Katrina is an example of that. As a lot of political actions have been over the decades.

We can all hope.

Rob-bear said...

A crisis can, indeed, be a catalyst for change. It can also be an opportunity for denial.

Nothing's really wrong. This is a small problem; we'll fix it quickly. There is no need to be alarmed. Problem? Deny, deny, deny.

Denial does not help change to happen.

Natalie said...

I certainly hope it is.

Rob and Trish MacGregor said...

It would be great if we could evolve without pain and crisis, but as a species, we just aren't there yet. I have always been puzzled by Japan's eagerness for nuclear plants in light of what nuclear power did to them in WWII.

Gaston Studio said...

Totally agree with you Nancy. Unfortunately, there are too many who fear change, but we'll get there.

And congrats on POTW!

ellen abbott said...

I think that is entirely correct. Change has to be forced upon us.

CherylK said...

What an excellent post! You've totally hit the mark with this. Hearty congratulations on your POTW honor from Hilary. Well deserved.

slommler said...

I agree with Brian...we do have a very short term memory! Which is unfortunate because this problems take long term commitments!!
Sigh!!
Congrats on your POTW award
Hugs
SueAnn

ethelmaepotter! said...

Your last sentence sums it up perfectly.

You're right - evolution is change, and if we become too complacent, too comfortable with where we are and who we are, we will never advance as a people, a society, a world.

Crises, by nature, MUST precipitate change; what we do defines the change, whether it be for good or bad. Look what happened when the dinosaurs were wiped out by...whatever the theory of the day is...crisis=change=evolution. Look what happened when England imposed an act requiring all citizens to conform to the Church of England...crises=change=America. Look what happened when any number of historical events forced change throughout time.

Yes, you're right, it usually takes a crisis to bring change upon us. Maybe there will come a time when the human race will have advanced to a point that we will be able to staunch any crisis before it begins. What will happen to us then?

Stopping by from Hilary's last week (better late than never!) Congrats on your POTW!