| 18.6°C Dublin

A crisis allows us to start once again


As human beings we have a tremendous ability to withstand crises and difficulty

As human beings we have a tremendous ability to withstand crises and difficulty

As human beings we have a tremendous ability to withstand crises and difficulty

'It is not the most intellectual of the species that survives; it is not the strongest that survives; but the species that survives is the one that is able to adapt to and to adjust best to the changing environment in which it finds itself' - Charles Darwin, from 'Origin of Species.'

After four months at home, I was excited to return to my office last week.

We live in interesting times. It has been and is a very difficult time for some-financially, personally, health and family-wise and in many other ways too. Others have loved the time to look within (for some secretly and others more openly) and having more time focus on what is truly important.

As human beings we have a tremendous ability to withstand crises and difficulty as I have personally seen in my 14 years working in the aftermath of humanitarian and natural disasters.

I vividly recall the eyes and expression of a great great grandmother doing her best to provide for two of her great great grandchildren (who were 2 and 3 years old)-after all the other members of her family became terminally ill or were lost to HIV in Swaziland where I met her in 2008. Time and again, I have seen this incredible, indomitable spirit that lies within each of us.

We can survive anything. When the dust settles and the aftershocks subside after an earthquake, it is time to start again. It is now time to face your fears, be present to what is in front of you and move forward.

For some that involves reinventing their entire business - or aspects of it. For others, it involves redesigning their life to fulfil their current needs and goals. Some changes are more logistical or financial in nature and others, relate to aligning your lifestyle and how you spend your time and energy according to your new priorities and values. Some of us have new responsibilities so the challenge is to fit it all in.


There is a lot of fear these days… Fear about COVID and what might happen. Fear about the various new challenges we face. Fear about the apparent lack of certainty. But, there were never guarantees. Having to make changes brings up fear as it involves moving into uncharted territory which although exciting can be scary. Wondering - am I up for this? When we avoid what we 'should' be doing, it is easy to get caught up in what is not right outside of us. Over the years, I have done this a lot. It is an interesting thing to witness in yourself. But when you focus on what you can do - the next step always reveals itself and confidence builds again.


In the aftermath of disasters, some are in shock, some are wondering what happened and why so and who to blame and some are innovative and adapt to the situation. It is always important to learn from the past but we also need to move. Focusing on uncertainty is highly stressful. Life is a bit like driving a car at night. We can only see a few 100 metres ahead. We can establish positive life patterns than ensure we are prepared for the new opportunities when they arise. We can manage, adapt and let go of what no longer serves us. We can focus on what we can control and move forward.

'Every day begins like a blank chalkboard, on which each one of us can write the poem of our present and our dreams for the future.'

Online Editors