danger + opportunity ≠ crisis
Do you ever hear someone says that in chinese the word crisis is comprised of two chinese characters; one is for danger and the other one is for opportunity – perhaps in one of those motivational books you have on your bookshelf? Well, prepare to be teleported back to reality.
There is a widespread public misperception, particularly among the New Age sector, that the Chinese word for “crisis” is composed of elements that signify “danger” and “opportunity.” I first encountered this curious specimen of oriental wisdom about ten years ago at an altitude of 35,000 feet sitting next to an American executive. He was intently studying a bound volume that had adopted this notorious formulation as the basic premise of its method for making increased profits even when the market is falling. At that moment, I didn’t have the heart to disappoint my gullible neighbor who was blissfully imbibing what he assumed were the gems of Far Eastern sagacity enshrined within the pages of his workbook. Now, however, the damage from this kind of pseudo-profundity has reached such gross proportions that I feel obliged, as a responsible Sinologist, to take counteraction.
Well, there goes about 90 percent of the argument for those zany multi-level marketing schemes and those get-rich-quick seminars!