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Story Archives

Crisis

Ben Greenman

By Ben Greenman

Everybody has seen movies with gurus who advise inner calm. “Take a break,” they say. ‘Take a breath.”

Everybody has seen other movies with people who face life by clenching their jaw and soldiering forth. 

Everybody has to make that choice.

Everybody has trouble with the world. That’s one of the things the world’s for: to give us trouble. Sometimes it is trouble within the self. Other times it is trouble that takes the form of watching someone else in trouble, especially a loved one.

Everybody wonders, in those moments, about the best strategy. What will it take to dissolve the trouble? Can it be dissipated through peaceful waiting? Must it be attacked with weapons? Do you have to understand trouble to combat it?

Everybody has to make that choice—and not just make it once, but make it several times, for the self and others, never fully certain which road will lead to resolution and which to ruin. 

Everybody, upon making that choice, just waits and sees. There is so much beyond our control. There is no prescription, no matter what any of us have heard.

Everybody has seen movies.

 

How would you like to think and act in times of crisis?

 

Ben Greenman is a New York Times-bestselling author who has written both fiction (most recently, the novel The Slippage) and nonfiction (including Mo Meta Blues, with Questlove).