Words that use Chinese characters in Japanese have the characters’ meanings embedded into them. And the word for “crisis” turns out to be very positive in Japanese!
危機 (“Kiki”) is how it’s said. But taking each character apart shows a whole other picture. The first character (危) means “dangerous” while the second (機) means “opportunity”.
That is what a crisis is after all. It is dangerous, scary and many other things but it also represents an opportunity, a chance for a change.
There is no turning back in a crisis. What happened, well, happened. Now you have to move on, to find a way out, to create a better future.
The environmental crisis, we are all facing right now is scary. The wildfires in Australia nowadays show us how dangerous this crisis is.
But a crisis also means you can salvage the situation. Yes, the environment may never be the same. Yes, life is becoming more and more dangerous. But as long as it doesn’t become a catastrophe, there is a possibility to improve the future.
The wildfires happening are a catastrophe. There is no opportunity to find in there. These spaces are to salvage as well as possible and we need to save as many people as we can, but those are just to survive the wildfires and put them behind.
On the contrary, the climate change crisis is an “opportunity” in a way. Yes, there’s nothing really positive about it. But it has become a topic widely and regularly discussed around the world. Every country is trying to do its part to solve it, to create a society in which the environment is preserved. Isn’t that better than nothing? I think this is where the opportunity is.
We’d all have loved it if we could avoid this crisis, but now that it is here, we need to see it as an opportunity to do better. To have a better future.
Whatever crisis you encounter in your life, you need to see it as an opportunity. To learn. To improve. To do better. To live a better life.
Make the next one a dangerously good opportunity!
Still thirsty for more learning and discovery? Consider signing up for my newly created weekly newsletter in which I share insightful articles I read, along with my newest ones too.
Mathias Barra is a French polyglot living in Japan and who has learned 6 languages and dabbled in numerous others. Being a curious child full of wonders is how he keeps on learning and can’t stop sharing about every tiny idea, even non-language-related.