Kronos and Kairos

We don’t schedule a kiss (unless we are a weirdo). We can feel the moment if it’s right. It happens when two people build enough emotion between them they can no longer hold back. It is raw emotion, timing and magic.

It is not in a planner.

But how do you know it’s time to kiss? What tells a quarterback the exact moment to throw the football, how does the cowgirl know just when to lean as her horse turns around a barrel and how do two friends know when to turn a friendship into something more, in an instant?

It is called Kairos, the sister of the Greek word Kronos. Kronos, as many of you are familiar with, is the root of words like chronological and it refers to the measurement of time. At 2:00, or three weeks ago, or when I was 15 are all examples of Kronos.

But Kairos is different. Kairos is not really easy to translate into English. Kairos is that moment when it’s right, the time which opportunity presents itself or the instant that everything changed.

And, even though it isn’t measurable, it does have a few vital parts. It seems to be the confluence of opportunity and action. It is when a door opens and we walk through. It is the sum of the right time and the right effort. Kronos quantifies our time. Kairos qualifies it.

We live in the most opportune time in history. Today we can affect more people, become more valuable and create a larger good than ever in the history of mankind. If Kairos really is the confluence of opportunity and action, then half of the equation is here, now.  All that is missing is action, movement, chance.

What chance have you taken today? What action did you launch into the universe in the hopes that it would make change? We all know that our Kronos is limited. But we can’t do anything with it. It is our Kairos that gives us purpose. It is the moment we give ourselves to the opportunity available that gives us reason to be. Today we all have Kronos, but there are some of us who will make the most of the Kairos.

I hope you will join us.

(Thanks to my friend Holly for the inspiration for this post. Check her out here for a full lesson on Kairos!)