Wake Forest, NC (PressExposure) August 08, 2009 -- Crisis generally are not events but are reactions to events. When people find themselves in a crisis mode it's often beneficial to step back, take a breath, and think through the approach to what has transpired or is happening at the moment. It's extremely rare for any human to experience a new event, as most events reoccur, but it's always new for the person having to experience that event. The old saying truly holds that "there is nothing new under the sun, only it's new to you".
Two families experienced traumatic events, death of their sons very prematurely, yet rather than react in crisis mode, both chose to take two separate tragedies and turn them into learning experiences and reacted beneficially to them helping others.
Annie Nice lost her son to a sudden heart attack at age 28 after beginning a successful writing career. The Johnson family lost their son/brother to suicide at age 15. Both deaths were tragic events but they did not become crisis.
One festival in particular (one of many) typifies the good that can come from tragic events. Besides creating the first IrishFest ever in Wake Forest, N.C. the families looked around for how they could use a good fun festival yet leave positive memories of their sons.
The IrishFest is intended to raise funds for serving the community by cultural arts support but they went a step farther. The first Wake Forest IrishFest Writing competitions were established. $1200 of cash prizes, dinners, and much more were initiated in a writing and poetry contest in memory of their sons. Andrew Britton was an accomplished writer and Graham Johnson a lover of poetry.
The fun IrishFest will not only raise monies for the community arts programming, but will spark an outburst of creative energies for the literary arts of the community. This is a very typical example of taking events and turning them into positive experiences that benefit many. Crisis are only what one makes an event into, sometimes it can be an opportunity.