The Third Door of a Crisis – Why Reacting and Responding Are Not The Only Choices

I went to Costco today to pick up some things we needed at home.  One thing on the list was vanilla extract; so my wife and daughter could bake cookies, etc.


As I reached the baking goods, I seemingly grabbed the last bottle in the store.  The front register person looked at it, and then at me and said:

Where did you find this?? I thought we sold out of this days ago.

Vanilla extract?  Really?  I don’t get it.  Was baking cookies the secret remedy to COVID-19??

I thought if I was ever to come face to face with panic, uncertainty and hysteria, I would be frightened – but I find myself more puzzled than worried.

With life comes challenges, always.

There will be times of fear, most certainly.

But to be fearless is not to be without fear but to respond in the face of it.

By now, I’m sure many of us have come to understand the power and distinction between reacting vs. responding.

Life isn’t about what happens to you; life is about how we respond to what happens to us. – Every Guru On The Planet Right Now

But through the fog of disarray that we find ourselves in on March 21st, 2020.  In the midst of with this global pandemic coronavirus (Covid-19) – there is a third door we can take.

Door # 1 : Reacting is the obvious door.  It gives us an innate satisfaction and emotional release.  And from my experience, on a the spectrum of good and bad outcomes, this approach heavily skews towards the latter.

Door # 2: Responding is more resourceful. It requires us to deploy mindfulness in its simplest sense; meta-cognition, if you will.  It demands us to look beyond the subsequent choices we have before us and truly curate thoughtful action to help us achieve what we truly wish to achieve.

And the third door?  The third door is initiate.

There are countless things that happen around us that are not necessarily happening to us.

But we can effect those things.  And effect them for the better.

We can intervene in these seemingly counter-productive loops and from it initiate a new – and positive loop.

Witnessing people panic purchase at the grocery store, the third door has never been so visible to me.

I can see so many people, entrenched in their loops.

It’s easy in steady times to find ourselves in a comfortable loop and rhythm of reacting and responding.  Even when things are uncertain, it’s much easier and feels much more safe to adopt one of these loops and never look up.

But in this moment.  Right now. In the midst of what we are dealing with.  The third door has never been more obvious.

We have the power to do things outside of what directly effects and affects us.

We can be kind.

We can stay calm.

We can support each other.

We are neither the uncertainty that comes from the darkness nor the certainty that comes from the light.  We are the harbingers of the possible. – Ramneek Mathur


The shortages we are witnessing is not because of the coronavirus.  It’s because we, through our panic, have stress-pulled on global supply chains and caused a temporary shortage.  If we had simply looked up through this pandemic, the burden to society would have fallen where it always was set to go:

Our healthcare professionals.

And from there, we could have provided them more adequate, focused and adaptive support through these hard times.

Be that as it may, my sentiment lies with the late Winston Churchill when he said,

Now this is not the end.  It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning. – Winston Churchill

People having been asking me for weeks if I’m stocking up on things.  My answer?


I may have to search a week or 2 in advance, but I’m going to take what I need.

Because I choose love.  Not Fear.

Empathy.  Not survival.

Compassion.  Not selfishness.

Having said that, I hope people begin to find equanimity soon.

In the face of a challenge, we must look up, not down.

It’s the only way forward.

Anyway – just some thoughts.  Be safe.  Choose love.

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