So, in a nutshell, ‘crisis’ does not equal ‘opportunity’. This was a myth that’s been propagated over the years due to a misinterpretation of the Chinese characters.
danger opportunity â. crisis
The third, and fatal, misapprehension is the author’s definition of jÄ« as “opportunity.” While it is true that wÄ.ijÄ« does indeed mean “crisis” and that the wÄ.i syllable of wÄ.ijÄ« does convey the notion of “danger,” the jÄ« syllable of wÄ.ijÄ« most definitely does not signify “opportunity.” Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defines “opportunity” as:
a favorable juncture of circumstances;
a good chance for advancement or progress.
While that may be what our Pollyanaish advocates of “crisis” as “danger” plus “opportunity” desire jÄ« to signify, it means something altogether different.
The jÄ« of wÄ.ijÄ«, in fact, means something like “incipient moment; crucial point (when something begins or changes).” Thus, a wÄ.ijÄ« is indeed a genuine crisis, a dangerous moment, a time when things start to go awry.