The Chinese symbol for ‘crisis’ is the same one they use for ‘opportunity’

No it isn’t. Or if it is, only in the same way that Nostradamus was absolutely specific about who did what, when and where.

Like millions of other people, I had heard this fact and was impressed with its possibilities (as a creative practioner, you tend to watch out for stuff like this). I thought about using it in one of my presentations. However, because I’m curious and like to push the envelope a little further than the post box, I thought it would be good to be able to draw this symbol from memory, on the fly, during a workshop. So I Googled it. And guess what?

When you look closely at the complexities, the myth is exploded.

It is not one symbol, it is a combination of two and the interpretation of the conjunction can be moulded with a bit of imagination, but realistically, any Manadarin worth her salt would not confuse ‘danger’ with ‘opportunity’. Danger is exactly that, and should be avoided.

My heart sank. Then leapt. The mantra ‘Assume nothing!’ was reaffirmed. If we see something in print, we tend to believe it (is the internet changing this, after all, this is in ‘print’?) but closer inspection (thank you the internet, again) reveals a complex, twisted path.

I’m still going to use it in my presentations though but with the added twist; you really can’t take anything for granted.

Assume nothing at all times.

One Response to “The Chinese symbol for ‘crisis’ is the same one they use for ‘opportunity’”

  1. Ines Arriaga says:

    this put up is def 1 of one’s much better types

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