Facing Crisis Part 2
In Part 1 – Facing Crisis, I gave tips on how to directly face a crisis. Now, let’s look at crisis management relative to the changes happening around the world.
I have been in crisis management for 30 years now. At first, it didn’t seem like I was working in crisis management. I started work at Boeing as an engineer. While my job was to build high-performance jets, that wasn’t possible when the day to day problems prevented the airplane from being built at all. The next thing I know, I’m on the manufacturing floor helping people communicate with each other and fixing problems as they occurred in real-time.
When you work with a crisis, you discover that the bigger problem isn’t the fire but rather the conditions that started the fire. It became obvious to apply my Taoist teachings to help people be healthier and work together. I was successful by directly helping people, which allowed them to succeed in their jobs and be strong enough to deal with any crisis.
I moved on from engineering to software development and health systems. I saw an opportunity to help improve society by improving organizational structures. I focused on reforming government & companies to minimize crisis situations. I quickly discovered crisis management undercuts profit management. The simple truth: the average company and government practices crisis management by minimizing information on a problem and then passing problems on to other people. Crisis management in the modern world is usually a complicated game of hot potato.
Ironically, while organizations would reject change, the experience reinforced my approach that crisis management is all about the people. I built Personal Tao 17 years ago to re-focused my life to help individuals resolve personal, relationship, and midlife crises to be strong in life.
A crisis is a fire you have to face and fix, or it burns down your life. After 30 years of putting out fires, I have gotten very good at helping people resolve crises. The process is simple: help people be more robust, remove drama, build community, expand their tools and be proactive rather than wishful in life. By helping others, I am also working toward my larger goal of helping the world.
Here we are in 2021. Society has reached a new plateau of crisis to face, and it’s time to get busy. Let’s work together to jump into a better life and world rather than watch it all burn down.
Lessons About Crisis
Let’s go over some basic lessons about a crisis.
Imbalanced situations create a crisis.
Did you know the opposite of equity is being in an imbalanced state? Oftentimes crisis can be resolved by promoting equity in a given situation through empowering all the stakeholders.
We, the people, are the fundamental building block of society. The simplest solution to a crisis is often making a person stronger to face the problem. Give a person the tools required to fix the problems around them in life! The United States’ fundamental problem has been 50 years of empowering the 1% of the rich at everyone else’s expense in America. Until equity is reestablished, the problems will get worse in the United States.
Clear communication is not possible when pain and frustration are the baselines for a person. Over time this builds up into hate.
I wrote in 2016
Sadly, Trump has initiated this whole storm and he and those who followed him have to decide where they are taking their hate. Hopefully we can work to find a way to release rather than fight the hate.
If this pain / hate / anger isn’t addressed, it will rip our planet apart. Using an approach of frustrated emotional anger isn’t a solution to the world’s problems. Trump has thrown a lit match down, it’s up to the people following him if they will stir those flames up or not. History has shown those flames only destroy and never build anything better out of the results.
We cannot ignore or dismiss this force; together, we need to find a way to grow out of the hate.
The Capitol Riot has shown the truth of my words. I will further say, the 2024 elections will lead to a dictator and worse problems for the United States unless we can re-establish clear and respectful communication between everyone.
As a country, we need to stop pretending to be the greatest country, accept our problems, and begin fixing our problems. Make America great again has only reinforced the inequity and problems! America has never been a country of greatness nor empire. America is rooted as farmers, tinkerers, thinkers, and traders. Perhaps it’s time to humble again.
We can’t keep blaming others for what is happening. Society is us, and society is a dialogue. Blaming others is not a dialogue; it’s only a starting point for wars.
Also, we cannot force people to face crisis. To force a dialogue or action would simply be to force conflict rather than promote true dialogue. Part of the process is letting events themselves nudge people into becoming ready to work with improving their life and then the world.
While we wait for events to push people together, we can begin to build stronger communities. We can begin to start other dialogues that eventually will lead to working together later when various crises unfold around the world.
We need to start finding ways to come together, or our world just continues to break down. Don’t focus initially on the future breakdowns, focus on the coming together!
Don’t resist the discomfort of what is happening now. Use your discomfort to push for lifestyle improvements. Avoid trying to reinvent your stories or ignoring what is happening around your life.
Right now, the resistance we are seeing is from discomfort. In a few weeks, many people will become numb to it and stop trying to change for the better. So figuring out how to embrace the discomfort and then harnessing it is more important than just reacting to it. I spent the last few days not resisting my discomfort but rather taking time to learn from it and refine how I live. Asking myself questions on how to move ahead as I see future conflicts. As a result, I wrote this post. As a result, I will modify how I act and live more than ever.
Comfort is stasis and a trap preventing people from growing and exploring life.
The elections illustrate the fight between logic and emotions. You can also see that you cannot counter emotion with only logic.
While logic can build a rocket to the moon, emotions topple governments. This means crisis management is also emotion management!
Here is a primer about emotions.
We are human; we cannot forget emotions drive humanity more powerfully than logic many times. We like to think the best of what humans can do. We strive to be superman and live to ideals. Yet we must never forget the power of emotions to tear down what is around us.
Emotions also tie one to the past. If we are to create a new future, we have to release our emotional attachments trying to rebuild the past in our future.
My friend Toni just wrote:
When any group’s views are dismissed, and they are nominal-ized (and even called names such as ignorant, uneducated, and racist) their emotion buttons are pushed, and they unite and rise up.
Understand our challenge ahead is in helping many people around us deal with a surge of emotions and judgment. It’s hard to come to a middle ground when emotions lockdown judgments. So remember the teachings of a Personal Tao to help you through these times. Don’t over push with logic. The true lesson here is to be patient and, with kindness, help each other step to a better place.
Don’t Run Away from Crisis
You will also hear people saying they will leave the USA. Leaving isn’t an answer! Such talk is only a fear response, which will make things worse. Running away only deepens fear and hate in the place you left. Our world is global now and interconnected in such a way that you cannot run away from hate crimes. Our truth is to withstand division, fear, and hate. We stand up not in conflict but in the heart. We work together to find answers.
Yes, judgment and lashing emotions are currently being made public all around us. Yes, it will get more intense over the next few years. People are hurting, and people are fearful of the future. I will restate this because emotionally, you will want to run away. We have to balance emotions and logic together. Our answer has to use both emotion and logic to deal with hurt rather than hide from the pain. We face our problems with kindness, modesty, and nonjudgment. We can stand up against it and begin working on releasing every judgment that arises in front of us.
This isn’t going to be easy!
Just because kindness is the answer doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. We are going to have to resist the urge to have comfort and instead push into discomfort in going outside normal boundaries. Also, standing up doesn’t always mean fighting.
To protect the future, we have to help each other release the hate being stirred up.
For example: in kindness, we can help others resist bullies, abuse, and attacks to keep them down.
Kindness is a slow path, but it works. In kindness, we can become heroes.
To be Superman?
To be a hero isn’t for us to blast out holy inner fires to melt away a challenge. (That will only create more damage and problems to work against later.)
We use our inner fires gently to re-warm and re-kindle the hearts of others. This is a path to a better world for the future.
We work together to make the world better. It isn’t for us to wait for Superman to save the day. This is our chance to be super; it’s our chance in modesty, kindness, and nonjudgment to help OUR world grow.
Walking Through Crisis
Taoism teaches us to use everything in life to learn from. Be it a zombie invasion, global warming, or any form of crisis; we approach resolving these situations with the same steps.
Not Caring is Not Living.
Living in a state of “Not Caring” is living as a Zombie.
No wonder we are living in the age of zombies. As people who don’t care will rush about, consume, and then tear the world apart for more resources to consume.
People think in terms of opposites. But not all opposites are clear, especially for words that modify life over time.
For example, people think the opposite of “not caring” is “caring”. Caring doesn’t necessarily clean up the mess of “Not Caring”.
Think about it! If you start caring for that Zombie next to you, all it will do is attack you, eat your brains, and the game is over.
All too many times, the damage of not caring goes way beyond what caring can repair. Look at today’s world, falling apart from people not caring enough, and then you see the problem. As a result, people stop caring and stop acting: thinking they can’t fix the problem. Reinforcing the very problems that not caring is causing.
The Path of Reclaiming Life
Having been taught by the movies, people assume the first step is to fight. Get the shotguns out and bust the Zombie. The only trouble, what if it’s the zombies with the guns? The capital riot was a rush of zombies armed with guns. People dead inside, screaming and trying to keep the old way of living alive. Well, that didn’t work out so well for anyone.
The first real step in repairing this modern Zombie consumer nightmare is not to go toe to toe and fight Zombies. Keep in mind: even the zombies have lawyers nowadays.
The Steps to Resolving Crisis
First Step: Being Aware
Live in awareness and do not overreact.
To overreact will cause the zombies to react. However, they will react as zombies do: reach out to consume your peace.
Second Step: Wisdom
Wisdom means not to be distracted by issues you think are your own but are only outside distractions.
In the age of mass everything, it’s easy to feel as if you have lost something.
Hence people crave everything being lost right now, wild forests, dirt under their toes, a real life. Therefore zombies will devour everything and anything to feel alive again. They are seeking something that can touch their soul. But consumption while filling the body… never touches the soul. Killing that teak tree to sit in as a chair doesn’t get your arse any closer to the forest; it only destroys the forest that much faster.
In this, the real trick is not to grasp and mourn what we have lost. Don’t try to find yourself in what is lost. You will never find a good reflection of your life in what is already gone.
The real trick is to stay connected to oneself. Then from that center -> re ripple outwards in living connections and enjoy the life that follows.
This is where caring for oneself enters the picture again. Show compassion, help yourself move slowly back into life.
Third Step: Be Patient.
De-zombification is a slow process.
Fourth Step: Be Very Patient.
De-zombification is a slow process. The hangover a person feels when recovering from their zombie state is intense. Don’t mistake their groaning in their healing phase to be them as a zombie still.
This is where caring for others enters the picture again. Show compassion, help that person waking up move slowly back into life.
We fix the crises ahead by not giving up!
Life is to live.
Once you stop trying, stop caring, the crises we face get worse, and people begin to revert into zombies again.
We fix the crises ahead by improving how we live!
Don’t work it away, don’t consume it away.
Do live. Be yourself. Push, be willing to define your own story, your truth.
Let that be enough. Wot-ever it may be: be it reading, building something, being with those you love.
Be it, day by day, and you will find that Living well is meaningful enough.
Let’s be superheroes by making the world whole by proactively living together and caring about each other and the future.
A superhero solves a challenge. The challenge ahead is living a better, kinder life.
Do the math, and this truth now becomes:
We become superheroes by helping others have better, kinder lives!