MARK STORM

Helping leaders find their way through complexity, ambiguity, paradox & doubt.

 

 

Kairos (καιρός)

Roman copy of an original by Lysippos (c. 350–330 BC)

Marble bas-relief

 

The ancient Greeks had two words for time. The first was chronos, which we still use in words like chronological and anachronism. It refers to clock time — time that can be measured — seconds, minutes, hours, years.

 

But where chronos is quantitative, kairos is qualitative. It measures moments, not seconds. Further, it refers to the right moment, the opportune moment. The perfect moment.

In Chronos & KairosMcKinley Valentine writes:

“The catch though, is that kairos can’t be planned, and it certainly can’t be forced. The best you can do is pay attention to the sort of things that lure it your way — if not much seems to, then try a hundred new things — and throw yourself across its path. Run the risk of being bored, tired and footsore.

 

The most you can expect from perfection is that it last just one moment. And the most you can expect from a moment is that it be perfect.”

 

 

 

 

 

 Lysippos (c. 395-305 BC) was one of the greatest sculptors of the Late Classical period of Greek sculpture, along with Skopas and Praxiteles. Official sculptor to Alexander the Great, his work was characterised by lifelike naturalism and slender proportions. According to Pliny, he produced more than 1,500 works, all of them in bronze. As with most artists from this period, no certain originals remain, we only have Roman copies and ancient critical writings to work with.

 

 

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“I have gathered a posy of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.” — Michel de Montaigne

 

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