With the huge cuts in public spending, there are thousands of jobs in jeopardy. I know of several people who are busy looking for new work after losing their jobs and it is easy to feel that a personal crisis might be looming.
But there is hope in such situations. The Chinese spell the word crisis with two characters. The first means danger. The second, opportunity. So we can all look upon a crisis in two ways.
Obviously, any crisis can be a source of danger. The very word conjures up a sense of foreboding, a situation that is out of control. But with that danger comes the opportunity to make something better with the energy that comes to us all when put in a dangerous position.
The natural rise in adrenalin when we face danger, the classic fight or flight reaction, gives us superhuman levels of energy. We have all heard of stories of incidents where someone has lifted a car off a trapped friend or family member or run incredibly fast to rescue a child from danger. It’s a natural reaction, it’s nothing superhuman at all.
When we couple this energy with the Buddhist principle of turning Poison into Medicine, there can be a very real opportunity to use the situation to our own advantage. How often have you heard about people who turn an impossible situation into a an amazing success story. J.K. Rowling reportedly wrote the first Harry Potter book whilst in sheltered accommodation. Duncan Bannatyne built his business empire from scratch after coming from a less than privileged background.
Many of us need a short sharp shock to bring us out of a state of lethargy, something that sparks us into life and gives us the impetus to make huge positive changes to our lives. My own interest in Nichiren Buddhism was sparked by a sudden change in family situation, so I know that good things can come from a painful event.
If you find you are facing a crisis, take heart, remember that opportunity comes along as well as the danger, good fortune comes to those who seek it.