All too often in life, especially in these present days, we live by the exigencies of the moment. This is not only true at the individual level, but it is also true at the institutional level as well as the societal and even global level. It appears that in the absence of long-term thinking that crises are often manufactured or fabricated in order to lead to a sense of crisis that is supposed to lead to action with long-term ends in mind. Think, for example, of the manufacturing of various global cooling and global warming “crises” over the past forty years with goals of drastic behavioral change among people in developed countries who are supposed to feel guilty for their patterns of economic development. Given that this is the behavior concerning long-term planning at the highest level, it ought to be of little surprise that people unconsciously pick up on that way of dealing with problems and adopt it for their own use.
It often seems in life, in many aspects of life, that it takes a crisis to motivate people to act. Any situation where this is the case is a dysfunctional one, as in a well-functioning life, institution, or society, there should be sufficient ongoing work that meets current needs as well as making reasonable plans and activities designed with the future in mind. When the future horizon shrinks down to nothing, actions are not taken with the future in mind and huge inefficiencies result, as people change direction suddenly at the response to external conditions without any attempt to manage those factors or any resilience in dealing with difficult situations in a way that does not cause massive difficulty. Sadly, it would appear that such resilience is absent in much of our society.
It is not always useful to look for blame when it comes to this state of affairs, even if we acknowledge that it is lamentable. Nevertheless, we ought to look carefully to see how we and others are responsible for the problems that we face, especially so that we may do something productive and useful about these difficulties, both in managing their present effects as well as helping to avoid their future occurrence. This is by no means an easy task. Since crisis mentalities tend to involve a low amount of communication as well as poor resource allocation, which makes developing the mindset of thinking and acting with the future in mind and changing one’s allocations of attention and resources without letting the present fall apart completely is a considerable challenge.
One of the ways this challenge can be met the best is by understanding the sort of people one has available to help out in that process. Often crisis mentalities are met by people being placed in areas and situations where they are not particularly skilled because of the exigencies of the moment rather than any sort of understanding of the skills and talents and abilities and interests of others, and putting them in areas where they are best equipped to succeed with the resources to do so. When only short-term needs are considered, long-term harm can result when people are in places where they are unhappy or ill-suited, and where their productivity is less efficient and less effective than it would be in a better-designed system. Of course, having such a better designed system requires knowledge of that system, the parts that are working in it, and effectively placing people where they may do the best good for now and for the future, for themselves as well as the system as a whole.
Let us therefore act in such a way as we might recognize where others are well-suited by their interests and abilities , that we might have the vision to understand where we and others truly belong in the larger systems of our lives and existences and find our proper place where we are at home and may do the best good for ourselves and others, and that we might provide encouragement to others to think and act beyond the exigencies of the moment for a larger plan that is a good and worthwhile one, rather than simply to act without an sort of wisdom or foresight whatsoever, as is so often the case here and now. Let us hope that we may be wiser than our times.
 See, for example: