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Judo Lesson

No student was permitted to study judo by my martial arts grandmaster until they had earned a black belt in tai kwon do. The belief was that tai kwon do made you strong from the outside-in, whereas, judo made you strong from the inside-out. I can honestly say that my judo training was the most strenuous physical activity I ever experienced. One day, when I was a yellow belt (the color following white), we had a visiting red belt (the color preceding black) student from a sister-school, with whom I was partnered, as we learned a complex new leg and hip......
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Roses and Thorns

The task in the beginning is to learn to love self. This is accomplished by the provision of healthy caretaker inputs from outside-in. A child must first be loved, in order to learn how to experience love, in order to learn how to love. Learning to love your self is a crucial developmental task for love to have experiential personal meaning. The root word of the root word in meaning is the first two letters or the word formed by “m” + “e” = “me”. Meaning is often self-centered, self-absorbed and self-aggrandizing because the focus is on “me”. With me, myself brings me to I ......
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Redundant Systems

There is a “rule of thirds” which skilled mariners utilize to assess how far out into the deep blue sea they can go before they run out of fuel and can no longer safely return to their port of departure. Use a 1/3rd to get to where you are going, use 1/3rd to return from whence you came and keep a 1/3rd in reserve in case you run into any unanticipated problems, detours, delays or systems-malfunctions. The crucial lesson to be learned is to always be prepared for the unexpected by expecting that Murphy had the right idea when he proclaimed tha......
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“It’s Only 8 Hours, Sonny Boy!”

It was just a part-time job during the summer between my third and fourth year of high school. Not quite 16 and I was the designated quality-control inspector at a major tool manufacturing company in Chicago. Much to my genuine surprise, I was given with the sole discretionary authority to shut down the production line if there were any problems identified or even suspected by my youthful eagle-eye. Although I took great pride in my work and sought to always do my very best, I must confess how much I thoroughly loathed my job! Worse still, I could not for the......
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How High is Up?

I was immediately hooked on philosophy when a graduate professor in the department of philosophy was forced by his department head to teach an introductory class due to the unexpected withdrawal from the academic commitment by an undergraduate itinerant instructor more than forty years ago. The graduate professor was irritated that he had been ordered to teach first semester freshman who were right out of high school and, who were, to his way of thinking, wholly incapable of thinking at a level barely exceeding those of their primate cousins just a mere 1% or so removed from the full complement of......
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"Assertiveness Formula"

Have we got a terrific deal for all you boys and girls today! Only one to a customer but, shhh, you have our unrestricted permission to faithfully use our special “assertiveness formula” as often as you want! You will absolutely, positively improve your communication and conflict resolution competencies with each use, guaranteed, or your money back! However, you must act right now! If you wait to long, I am sorry to inform you that you will surely lose. This is a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity and the stakes are high. So without any further ado or hullabaloo... Hurry, hurry, hurry folks! If you prefer ......
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"You are Pranam!"

Many years ago, when our practice served as a training center for doctoral candidates in clinical and counseling psychology, I recall supervising an intern from a foreign land who, despite my best efforts to injunct her from standing at attention whenever I entered the room, never paid heed to my entreaties for her to cease and desist. One day, following a rather intensive supervision session, in which the clinical issues initially referenced by her as primarily “patient” problems were subsequently interpreted by me, as the counter-transferential projections of her own “personal” issues onto those very patients, she gasped, blushed, and then blu......
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"FINE"

  Doctor: “How are you?”Patient: “Fine. Doctor: “What would you like to talk about today?”Patient: “Nothing much.” Doctor: “How come?”Patient: “Because I’m fine.” Doctor: “What exactly do you mean by fine?”Patient: “I thought you’d never ask!”   “F” stands for fucked-up.”“I” stands for inconsolable.”“N” stands for nothingness.”“E” stands for empty.” “I’m fine!”“And how are you? Interestingly, the patient smiled when the doctor inquired as to what was meant by the use of the word, “fine.” Later it was admitted that the doctor, alone, had “passed the test” which “more than a dozen other doctors” had failed. The “test” was to see if the doctor had the authentic wherewithal to deeply and profoundly respect t......
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"RAWDEAL"

As a psychologist, if I have heard it once from my clients, I have probably heard it at least a thousand times, about the “raw deal” that many believed was unfairly visited upon them by an external agent for which they were injured or harmed with little recourse but to obsequiously accede and then to “bend over and take it!” After much thought, it eventually occurred to me that the “raw deal” lingo was really a conscious manifestation of an unconscious constellation of powerful ’affects,’ whereby, if the “raw deal” verbalization was viewed as an, heuristic, acronym, then by taking the first letter of eac......
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My Eulogy

As I confront my mortality, it occurs to me that when I die, there will probably be one or two individuals who may feel some compulsion “to say a few words,” in memoriam. While I have no plans of leaving this world soon, “anything can happen at any time for no good reason” and when my time is finished, those one or two individuals may need to give their voice to the life of my life in my death. I suspect that a eulogy serves several simultaneous purposes, insofar, as it allows the bereaved to reconcile their loss with “something nice to say” a......
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"Numbers Are Good!"

She started to panic.“Are you ok?” “No!”“Something wrong?” “Yes, I feel faint.”“What do you need?” “Do you have any sugar?”“How about some honey in tea?” “Perfect”, said she.“Crackers, too?” “That will do!”“Diabetic, are you?” “Yes.”“Last time you checked?” “Blood sugar?”“Yes.” “This morning.”“What did it show?” “Numbers are good!”“Could readings be wrong?” “Numbers are good!”“Could tester be flawed?” “Numbers are good!”“Could diet be an issue?” “Numbers are good!Could drug-interactions be a problem? “Numbers are good!”“But you’re clearly not!” “Maybe numbers aren’t so good?”“Hmm”, said I. “But the numbers said...”“Ah, the numbers said!” And then, I said: “Numbers are numbers...And good is good... But if you’re not good...Then you’re not good... Even if numbers are good.”“Hmm”, said she. Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelma......
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"I Ain't Got None"

My love of words was engendered by my mother. She was a master at feeding her three small children as a single parent with nary a nickel to work with and yet she always was able to cook-up a concatination (i.e., plethora) of etymologic sustenance. Words were requisite ingredients to cook-up lofty ideas and aspirational values associated with high hopes, dreams and good wishes. Interestingly, while her vocabulary was not particularly erudite she had a predilection for artful linguistic structure and, as an interesting aside, her penmanship was artful, too. I vividly recall one particular Saturday morning when I was just......
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