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How to Be a Good “Crazy” Person!

Many years ago I stumbled upon the ‘secret formula’ of how to be a good “crazy” person: Simply live your life in such a way that you “know you know and know you mustn’t...” Then whatever follows can only remain a compensatory adaptation to living your life a lie! The ‘antidote’ is equally straightforward: When you “know you know, and know, and act ...
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32 Edits

I recently wrote a very short article which required 32 edits. My written work, I thought, was substandard and the message, I thought, was unclear. When I write, consistent excellence is my minimum standard and my point must be sharp and penetrating... Unless, “journalistic license” wins-out and I choose to implicate my meaning by intentional desig...
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Once A Murderer

“Once a murderer, always a murderer.” I have pondered these words for years. Is it really true? If someone commits a sin, must they, forever, remain a sinner? We recall King David as “the giant slayer” who became a wise and good ruler. Yet he coveted his best friend’s wife and killed him to take her as his own. Was he a great man or a liar, thief a...
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"Baby Adult"

I am indebted to my wife for instructing me how to view our then-24 year old daughter who, while increasingly more capable of fending for herself, might, on occasion have a transient meltdown, necessitating an assist, from either one or both of her parents, coupled with judicious application of just the right kind and amount of TLC. It seems that w...
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Safe, Healthy, Happy

What do parents really and truly want for their children? We want them to be “safe, healthy and happy.” Everything else is “frosting on the cake.” Parents can survive anything save for the loss of their child. If a child is dead “all hope is lost.” If a child is alive “anything is possible.” It is my contention that we best protect our children fro...
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Child's Lament

Is life so dear Or death so near That victories are our food? Competition is tough And winning is rough And our mannerisms are crude. Is striving for gains Or wracking our brains For wealth and ugly power... All that we are living for In these rugged Uncomfortable hours? Author Note: Dr. Larry B. Gelman is a Clinical Psychologist and a Personal Men...
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The Thinker

In quiet moments when I am in deep contemplative thought, pretending I have introduced myself to a new imaginary playmate, I increasingly find myself conjuring a brief conversation with Rodin’s sculpture, The Thinker. While I certainly appreciate that the artist may have been motivated by forces, either demonic or divine, and intended an entirely d...
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Just This Much!

I recall sitting in my third-grade classroom, looking at the other children sitting at their classroom desks and lazily wondering just what the critical differential was between poor, fair, good, excellent and superior outcomes. As fate would have it, some workmen were replacing drywall in our classroom that very day and I was immediately struck by...
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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 unanticip...
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Your Choice

It is easy to succeed at failing. Almost anyone can achieve this simple goal. Simply start by knowing right from wrong. Then choose wrong. By choosing wrong you can’t go right. (Except that three left turns make a right). Because when you choose not right... You have made your choice. All that remains is for you to act upon it. It is easy to succee...
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“It’s All Good”

I am indebted to my sister, Brenda, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for mentoring me with the phrase “it’s all good.” You see, Brenda has had her fair share of trials and tribulations in this world, which would have probably brought a lesser, characterologically-intact, person to their knees begging for mercy and looking for any way out. But not ...
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Foundational Algorithm of Healing and Growth

Over the course of my career as a clinical psychologist, I have thought very deeply about progress, regress and stasis. Why do some people go forward, others go backward, others still go nowhere at all? Additionally, what is elemental about the process of authentic psychotherapeutic intervention, as well as, personal mentoring which is key for any ...
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Now

The moment of ”now” is the nodal point connecting historicity with teleology, or more simply, past with future in the present. The past is over-and-done-with unless it is represented in the moment of the now in some way. The future is a fictional expectation unless it is represented in the moment of the now in some way. Now is both a noun and also ...
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Reaction vs. Response

Do you know the difference between a reaction and a response? Consider a marionette which is a puppet manipulated by the puppet master or marionetteer. When the strings are pulled, the marionette reacts in a passive and dependent manner. It has no choice but to do the bidding of its puppet master because it is only just a puppet. Whenever any strin...
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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 id...
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The Organ Grinder's Monkey

Emerson reminds us that while “one may serve many masters, he shall give himself to none.” Phrased a bit differently, we eventually need to choose to whom we will allocate our resources of blood, sweat and tears. It is my contention that, by deluding ourselves into believing that we can successfully serve everybody, we will eventually discover that...
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Living with Regret

Regret is that state of being, which occurs either momentarily and/or for all eternity, in which the person living with regret, has chosen, of their own free will, to act or to behave in a manner, which results in a harm to self and/or to another. In other words, regret is generally an avoidable consequence when infractible behavior fails to occur....
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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 orde...
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The Cause of Death

There is an old joke that “the cause of death for everyone is life!” It has also been said that “the moment you are born, you begin to die.” Admittedly, some people are living to die while other people are dying to live. Is life the cause of death or is death the cause of life? The physicists remind us that “nothing is created and nothing is destro...
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“Secret Keeper!”

“Listen...” “Do you want to know a secret?” “Do you promise not to tell?” Well, I have a really terrific secret for you. I am a “ secret keeper!” A real, dyed-in-the-wool secret keeper. I keep secrets, secret! Not every secret, but most every secret. If you are a danger to your self... If you are a danger to others... If you cannot take care of you...
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About You

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