Realities I, II and III in crisis management

Say you are on one of the upper floors of a huge skyscraper, looking out on the morning. That is Reality I: You are the observing subject looking out at reality. After a point, you realize that dot in the distance is actually a plane headed toward you, this morning in the World Trade Center. That is Reality II: You become the object of reality, in that grip of the real, and no longer just observer.

There is, however, Reality III. This is of the air traffic controllers during 9/11. Neither the observer of the first reality nor the object of second, the professionals achieved the unprecedented without incident that day. They were instructed to land all commercial and general aviation aircraft in the United States—some 4,500 aircraft—and did so.

Without overdrawing the point, so too do we demand that professionals land those water, electricity, transportation, telecommunications, and many more critical services every day without major incident.

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