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COVID-19 as kairos

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Without wanting to fetishize the pandemic, Brian Doerries observes that it has amounted to Kairos time. The ancient Greeks had two words for time. “Chronos” referred to linear, chronological time, while “Kairos” referred to a significant time, a time out of time, an in-breaking, distinct, opportune time, a time for decisive action.


Doerries maintains that the pandemic has made visible to many people who were willfully blind things that he hopes we won’t be able to un-see.


Many voices early on assumed the world would be irrevocable changed by the pandemic. A lot of evidence suggests many people seem to be quite happy to go back to business as usual.


But perhaps not. Perhaps some things have changed. After all, large change happens in part because many small changes happen first. So whatever may or may not be true about the culture snapping back to business-as-usual, each of us gets to make our own choice.


As this Kairos wanes and chronos beckons, what has changed for you? As Winston Churchill advised, never let a good crisis go to waste.


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