The opportunity that lies in every crisis…

<<"We have all heard that the Chinese use the same world to describe the concepts of crisis and opportunity. What they mean to say is that an every crisis lies an opportunity, depending on how it is looked at. The word crisis comes from the Greek "to separate, to sift" which means to pass judgement, to keep only what is worth while. There is an opportunity in every crisis and the deeper the crisis, the better the opportunity can be. But some people are not capable of seeing it.

This crisis of gigantic proportions seen by some as the "perfect storm" should help us at least to see better, to see more clearly; to decentralize our look from our individual or national problems; to have a global look; to realize that our local crises (for example the dangerously growing unemployment) cannot be fully understood if we do not place them in an international perspective.

Without being demagogic, because this crisis affects us all and it is not good neither for us nor for the poor, the crisis is giving us an intensive enlightening course. It is letting us see with astonishment how the selfishness and greediness of the rich are producing this great financial crack. We can also see how quickly the global markets react in panic of loosing profits, but also the extraordinary generous measures of the world's governments.

This crisis is astonishing us when we see how efficient the "global fear" is to global bankruptcy in order to mobilize an enormous amount of resources and political efforts; there are so many millions (or billions?) mobilized, that we cannot but compare them to the thin quantities allocated to the urgent policies, wherever they may be, to fight against the poverty that threatens millions in the planet and achieve the humble Millennium Objectives. Poverty also produces fear, global fear, but the poor are used to it; their crisis is the usual one, a "silent tsunami" to which we are used to. And the solidarity reactions are so slow...

Let us be positive. Let us dream that this crisis will enable us to open our eyes a little to make these comparisons. Let us dream that it will have opened many eyes to the need for more ethics and responsibility in the behaviour of world economy.

Let us remember this on the eve of Christmas, whose true motivation should not be spending and waste, but the living remembrance of He who said among other provocative things, "One cannot serve God and money".>>

José Juan Romero SJ