"When did the future switch from being a promise to being a threat?" Chuck Palahniuk
The vulnerabilities that undermine established positions often seem to come from out of nowhere. We are often blind-sided by unexpected crises. But our vulnerability to change in the environment comes largely from our false expectations of both general stability and of general disaster.
If our positions have remained the same for any period of time, no matter how chaotic the era, we expect them to remain the same indefinitely. Where there are changes, we falsely expect them to continue in the same direction. This is not the way our world works. Climatic threats arise out of a gradual, almost invisible process. Our understanding of this process is undermined by the straight-line thinking preached in school and by the mass media.
Our opportunity comes from recognizing that change doesn't flow in straight lines. It shifts directions, dictated by a reality too complex to understand, not the wishes of men. Almost all chaos is local, like a tornado, not universal, like a world-ending meteor strike. In our individual lives, the arrival of unexpected events is a certainty. We just don’t know what those events will be or when they will arrive. The fact that we cannot predict them doesn’t mean that we cannot deal with them. As Sun Tzu says, "Chaos gives birth to control."
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