choosing the path that follows your heart

Kairos is the window to seize control of your life, not just hope for the best

The world takes a breath, and in the pause, before it exhales, fates will be changed.

Greg Twemlow
8 min readJun 12, 2020


The ancient Greeks had two words for time, and Kairos was the second. The first was Chronos.

Chronos measures time; it’s quantitative. Kairos is qualitative; it measures a moment, not seconds. Kairos conveys an awareness of the right moment, the opportune moment. The perfect moment.

The world takes a breath, and in the pause, before it exhales, fates will be changed. These are the Kairos moments of your life.

Some people have recognized that the world is having a Kairos moment, and yet average citizens all over the world have no clue what lies ahead.

Why is 2020 a Kairos moment?

I’m thinking of a suitable analogy and the one that comes to mind is that of the Earth’s tectonic plates. They’re stable for a very long time and suddenly, in early 2020 they move, but they don’t move by millimeters, they move by kilometers.

Vladimir Lenin once remarked that “there are decades where nothing happens and there are weeks when decades happen”.

While most of the planet sits and frets about changes to their view of normality, others, who sense a Kairos moment, are working on how they can enter the new game under the new rules.

And it truly is a whole new game with completely refreshed rules.

In some ways, the rules were already changing during 2019.

This was particularly true in America under the Presidency of Donald Trump whereby his administration acted in cahoots with Fox News to implement the now infamous mantra, “to flood the zone with shit”, meaning to destabilize traditional media and negate its influence on American voters.

In the Trump-era, there have actually been many Kairos-moments, primarily for already rich and/or powerful interests, and especially for the sycophants attached to the Trump Rump. In fact, The Guardian says, “As 26 million Americans lose their jobs, the billionaire class has added $308bn to its wealth”.

Thinking about the post-COVID rulebook, Kairos moments have emerged for many more people than simply those who are wealthy and connected to the President.

With the global jelly shaking violently and people everywhere being more open to change and innovative thinking, it’s the perfect time to think expansively and to be prepared for greater risk-taking.

Working at my Not-for-profit, SEVENmile Venture Lab, I can say that would-be entrepreneurs are showing their true colors and view this time as ideal to be developing a new venture.

All over the world, there is Government funding to support people who lost their job and are actively looking for their next gig — while their “looking” they can also be working feverishly on their idea. That’s in fact a Kairos-moment.

While established companies are working out how to change their operational model, savvy, nimble startups can jump in and take a chunk of their markets. That’s a Kairos-moment.

While the health system is struggling with preparing for and handling COVID, medical innovators are marketing their ability to bring fresh remedies to people who are stressed and suffering from cabin fever. Another Kairos-moment.

The world takes a breath, and in the pause, before it exhales, fates will be changed — that’s a Kairos-moment.

At my age, over 60, I think deeply about my kids and the life that’s ahead for them.

I’m somewhat fearful, though I don’t share that view openly with my 3 sons. They don’t need to feel my nervousness.

Did Europeans feel the same level of concern in the early 1930s?

In Germany in the 1930s, Fascism was ready to blossom and seize its Kairos-moment. History reveals to us the reality of how Fascism redesigned what we thought it meant to be human.

As we left the 20th century, who could have believed that Fascism would get a fresh new recruit in the 21st century?

And yet here we are, with a shiny new example of Fascist leadership.

The American president knows how to appeal to a range of concerns with promises that can be simultaneously attractive and contradictory. Because no entire population is educated enough, sensitive enough, or ethical enough to see through the deception, the danger is very great indeed.

Two years have passed since scholars began to raise alarm-bells, and in those two years Trump has doubled down. He is no friend of democracy.

Assessing the world’s newest Fascist state is a depressing task.

He has declared himself above the law, preached insurrection by encouraging armed supporters to “liberate” states from the governance of duly elected officials, told police not to be “too nice” while doing their job, and gloated over the ability of the Secret Service to turn “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” loose on demonstrators — to “come down on them hard” if they get too “frisky”.

He has politicized the Department of Justice while remaking the judiciary in his image.

He has stifled investigations into his administration’s corruption, fired officials responsible for holding federal agencies accountable to the public, and rewarded his donors and cronies with government contracts, subsidies, deregulations, and tax breaks.

He’s dismantled the machinery that had been carefully assembled to protect our precious planet and laid it bare to be pillaged by ruthless corporations.

He has maligned and mocked the disadvantaged, the disabled, and people of color.

He has sought to politicize the military, including in his entourage the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs (dressed in combat fatigues), as his orderlies unleashed chemical fumes on peaceful protesters — all so that the president could use them as stage props in a photo-op, holding up a Bible in front of a historic church, just to make a dandy ad for his re-election campaign.

He has purged his own party of independent thinkers and turned it into a spineless, mindless cult while demonizing the opposition.

He has purloined religion for state and political ends.

Trump is the worst disaster to be inflicted on the world since Hitler.

Long before Trump bubbled-up from the primeval swamp, the world had been sold on the game-changing benefits of globalization and tens of millions of people now appreciate just how stupid we’ve all been.

Nonetheless, policymakers insist that globalization is bringing a better world for everyone. How can there be such a gap between the cheerleading rhetoric and the lives of real people?

Part of the disconnect results from the way globalization’s promoters measure ‘progress’. The shallowest definition compares the modern consumer cornucopia with what was available 50 or 100 years ago — as though electronic gadgets and plastic geegaws are synonymous with happiness and fulfillment.

More often the baseline for comparison is the Dickensian period of the early industrial revolution, when exploitation and deprivation, pollution, and squalor were rampant. From this starting point, our child-labor laws and 40-hour workweek look like real progress.

Similarly, the baseline in the global South is the immediate post-colonial period, with its uprooted cultures, poverty, over-population, and political instability. Based on the misery of these contrived starting points, political leaders can argue that our technologies and our economic system have brought a far better world into being and that globalization will bring similar benefits to the “wretched, servile, fatalistic and intolerant human beings” in the remaining ‘undeveloped’ parts of the world.

In reality, however, globalization is a continuation of a broad process that started with the age of conquest and colonialism in the South and the enclosures and the Industrial Revolution in the North. From then on a single economic system has relentlessly expanded, taking over other cultures, other peoples’ resources, and labor. Far from elevating those people from poverty, the globalizing economic system has systematically impoverished them.

If there is to be any hope of a better world, it’s vital that we connect the dots between ‘progress’ and poverty. Erasing other cultures — replacing them with an artificial culture created by corporations and the media they control — can only lead to an increase in social breakdown and poverty. Even in the narrowest economic terms, globalization means continuing to rob, rather than enrich, the majority.

According to a 2017 report by Oxfam, the world’s eight richest men now have more wealth than the poorest half of the global population combined.

This is globalization at work; just reflect on that statistic — 8 people hold wealth equal to half the world’s population.

While globalization systematically widens the gap between rich and poor, attempting in the name of equity to globalize the American standard of living is a fool’s errand.

Capitalism is built on the pitch to investors of limitless growth and profits.

Global economic activity has already outstripped the planet’s ability to provide resources and absorb the wastes from unbridled consumption.

The earth is finite.

When the average American uses 32 times more resources and produces 32 times more waste than the average resident of the Global South, it is a criminal hoax to promise that development can enable everyone to live the American Dream.

Us mere mortals have had a disturbing start to a new decade. It was already shaping as a time of rampant change with Trump taking America into uncharted waters and alienating America’s closest allies.

China has been aggressively staking a claim to areas of the South China Sea that it has no sovereignty over and has acted like a bully, leveraging its trade dominance in numerous jurisdictions including Australia.

Global protests for equality for all were the result of appalling treatment of non-whites in America and the realization that racism is endemic in many countries.

And the icing on the instability cake is the fact that the USA-China battle for economic and military dominance has barely begun.

Along with all this uncertainty, there will be Kairos moments

As the climate crisis rages on, and fault lines emerge in once-stable economies and societies, people all over the world are becoming more and more aware that something is wrong with our economic and political systems, and that minor tinkering is not the solution.

The world is more than ever ready for entrepreneurs who are mission-driven, whose mission is to address the issues people all over the world understand must change for the global good.

The world takes a breath, and in the pause, before it exhales, fates will be changed — a Kairos-moment emerges.

It’s true more than ever, that we need brave entrepreneurs who are adaptable and recognize the need to change the status quo of the capitalist model, the model of shareholder primacy espoused by American economist Milton Freedman in the early 1970s.

Freedman died in 2006, just prior to the global financial crisis that was effectively the culmination of rampant, uncontrolled monetarism, which was the basis of Freedman’s economic theories.

Monetarism, globalization, insanely efficient logistics, corruption in corporations and democratic governments, endemic racism, personal greed, unrestricted international travel, disruptive viruses, have all coalesced to create a destructive way of life.

We have a Kairos moment that must be seized by people who realize there’s no future unless we achieve fundamental changes in our behavior.

COVID-19 has created that moment; when the world takes a breath.

About the Author:

Greg Twemlow is a Sydney-based Social Enterprise Founder | Startup Mentor | CEO | Writer | Speaker | Host of



Greg Twemlow

Pioneering AI-Enhanced Educational Strategies | Champion of Lifelong Learning & Student Success in the GenAI Era