Emerge and See

Posted on Feb 2, 2011

In a recent New York Times Magazine article, will.i.am described how he plays with words.  For example, “emerge and see.”   He stated, “To emerge and see what is happening is truly an emergency.”

While I like what he is trying to say, I think he has it backward.

A mentor once told me that the Chinese symbol for crisis is a combination of two characters: danger and opportunity.  This message has always stayed with me.  When in a crisis, we certainly feel the danger.  It is visceral.  While it may not be obvious, if we can endure the waves of fear, there is always an opportunity waiting for us.

Thus, it is after an emergency that we really can “emerge and see.”  Maybe you emerge and see that it was your own denial and avoidance that precipitated the crisis in the first place.  Maybe you emerge and see whom you can count on and whom you can’t.  Maybe you emerge and see that even your “worst case scenario” is not as devastating as you thought it would be.  Maybe you emerge and see an inner strength that you never knew you had.