Crisis: a definition

Might be helpful in tackling it

arun simon
2 min readFeb 14, 2022



When you think of Crisis, what is your first sentiment? A crisis, most people experienced (more or less) recently or continue to experience is the one related to Covid-19. 3 dictionary meanings of crisis are:

1. A crucial or decisive point or situation, especially a difficult or unstable situation involving an impending change.

2. A sudden change in the course of a disease or fever, toward either improvement or deterioration.

3. An emotionally stressful event or traumatic change in a person’s life.

Beyond this set of meanings, there is another set of images that connects crisis to an opportunity.

When I appreciate the quote based on Chinese alphabets, I still find it to be like a self-help quote. I am not saying that self-help quotes are preachy or bad, but this is not convincing enough for me. Maybe for some of you.

One of my professors gave a definition of crisis, which is quite sensible to the post-modern sensitivity.

The crisis is a state of relative disequilibrium present in between two states of relative equilibrium.

If you are confused by the quote, it’s not a bad sign. It can be a relative confusion or a relative disequilibrium. If you understood the quote, don’t be overjoyed; it’s a relative equilibrium.

The crisis is definitely a disequilibrium in our life, but it is not an absolute one. It is temporary or a relative one. Before arriving at the crisis, we were in a cool state, a state of equilibrium; probably, we move after the crisis to another cool state, a state of equilibrium. But it is worth reminding that the past and the future “cool states” or the states of equilibrium are not the absolute ones too; they too are relative. That gives us great freedom to deal with the crisis. Hopefully, the confusion about the quote is gone, and you have relative clarity. Don’t think that the clarity will remain eternally. You can get into another crisis.

I find this way of understanding the crisis helps us to deal with those difficult situations much more effectively;



arun simon

A Jesuit with all the crazyness… Loves Jesus…Loves church, but loves to challenge too… Loves post modern philosophy & Gilles Deleuze.. Loves deep conversations…