Decidedly mundane…

danger + opportunity ≠ crisis

Chinese character wēiChinese character jī (in simplified form)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.

Victor H. Mair, a professor of Chinese language and literature at the University of Pennsylvania, has debunked the wildly popular notion.

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.

Read more @ pinyin.info

Well, there goes about 90 percent of the argument for those zany multi-level marketing schemes and those get-rich-quick seminars!

2 Responses to “danger + opportunity ≠ crisis”

  1. :D

    Too many silly superstitious wisdom based on absurd concepts out there!

  2. @ Rusdy :

    Indeed. Don’t even get me started with those supposed geniuses trying to cash in on the superstitious wisdom!

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