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What has your Crucible moment been?

Jul 9, 2015

Webster’s dictionary defines the term Crucible as : “a place or situation that forces people to change or make difficult decisions.”

In this context, the term crucible is often used to describe a defining moment in a person’s life in which he or she has a type of epiphany or revelation that leads to a paradigm shift in one’s thinking.

Take for example, former US President Harry Truman. Growing up, Harry Truman was what might be unflatteringly referred to as a bespectacled, nerdy klutz. With “eyeglasses thick as the bottom of a Coke bottle,” historian David McCullough writes that Truman couldn’t try out for school sports and mostly stayed home, working the farm, reading or playing the piano. His friends apparently thought he was a bit of a sissy, and apparently so did he. When Turman graduated high school, his family had run into hard times and he remained on the farm, becoming the only US president of the 20th century who never went to college.

However, Truman’s his life changed forever when, as a young man, he enlisted World War I where upon he was shipped off to France as the head of an artillery battery. In this role, Truman was forced for the first time in his life to lead men through moments of danger. His crucible moment came one rainy night when his battery came under close fire from German forces. Fearing there were being gassed by the enemy forces, Truman’s troops panicked and fled the field. In the frenzy, Truman’s horse fell, nearly crushing him. As he lay beneath his horse, watching his fellow soldiers flee, Truman was filled with an inexplicable strength. He forced his way from under the horse, and began yelling at the top of his lungs for his troops to come back and perform their duty, effectively shaming his men into returning. The men returned, regrouped, and began advancing under Truman’s leadership. McCullough recounts that through the rest of their lives, those men were loyal to Harry Truman, their leader who refused to back down in the face of his own fear.

This example is somewhat extreme, but it highlights an example of a point in a person’s life when he or she experiences or sees something that changes his or her outlook and possibly even influences the people or industry around that person to change forever.

As we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Security Show, and look back on the last thirty years of the industry, I am interested to know, what has been your crucible moment. What was the point in time at which you saw something, experienced something or realized something that for you, changed everything? Was it the realization that the internet would change the security industry (and the world) for ever? Was it 9/11 or perhaps the Bali Bombings? Was it something you saw at a security expo that made you realize, “this will change the everything”.

In the last 30 years of security, what has been your defining moment?

John Bigelow, Editor, Security Solutions Magazine


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