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  • Dr. Ted Klontz

Random Thoughts April 2024

Random Thoughts April 2024Read by Ted Klontz

“Jakeing,” in the tractor-trailer world is using the truck’s engine to help slow down the vehicle. If your ears have ever nearly been blown up by the racket made by a truck down-shifting as a method to slow itself down, as it rolls past you, you know “Jakeing”.  In some areas you will see signs prohibiting it. I was talking with a friend (he knows the company that created the device that originally made “Jakeing” possible) and I had the thought that people can be “Jaked” too. If you are speaking and I interrupt, the racket I make by my interrupting has the effect of slowing you down, sometimes even stopping you. When it happens to me, I’m not always sure it wasn’t the right thing for them to do.


I was talking with some parents who asked me what I thought the number one thing that a parent could do to benefit their child would be. I told them I believe that increasing their own (as the parent) personal level of self-worth (not self-esteem) is what is and will continue to be directly the most important gift they could give their kids.


Self-worth is like a direct blood transfusion. The parent’s level of self-acceptance, the level of peace that they feel with being a human being with the capabilities of doing and being anything that any other human being is doing or has ever done, is and will continue to be directly infused into their little ones.


This is not an original idea, by the way. All the major religions suggest the same. My true and most valuable legacy gift to those I am related to (and those I come into contact with) would be to make peace with what it means for me to be a human being. All of me. Everything. Knowing that as a human being, under the right circumstances I am as capable of doing anything any other human being has done.


I’ve always resisted the word, Guru. I just read that one meaning of that word is “a person who brings light to darkness”. Gu = dark, Ru = light. (Thank you, Marsala.) I like that word now. In the same vein, I like the idea that light (looking objectively at an aspect of myself or my world) dispels darkness. Light eliminates and illuminates the shadow.


The relationship between logic and emotions is sometimes truly amazing (and terrifying) to experience from the inside out. When a “big” emotional event occurs for me, every bit of my great masses of logical information is useless in terms of having a healing effect on the literal pain in my heart and convulsive cramp in my stomach. Huge emotional events defy every form of logic. And those who would try to help me with “information and logic,” actually don’t. They actually make things worse.

I was talking to a friend who was concerned that they depended too much on external validation. They had surmised that if they could just get to a point of self-acceptance, they would be immune to “what other people think,” especially the ones closest to them. I told them I think the “love yourself enough, (self-worth) and you won’t need anyone else to love you” (self-esteem) concept has been immensely oversold. It actually violates our genetic programming. I think the self-love/external validation issue is more like dance partners, one where, ideally, it is pretty impossible to tell who is leading and who is following. It is more like a flow. An equal partnership dance where from time to time our companion steps on our toes and it hurts. A dance one cannot do alone. And one cannot carry the full weight of (internal or external) or substitute for the other. Some have given up on getting that kind of messaging from human beings, and get it from their pets, or work, or food, or spending, or trees, or poetry, their religion, political party, or……. In my experience there isn’t anything quite like another human being to do this dance with. The challenge is that regardless of how much “they” pour onto us (love, acceptance, praise, money, fame, fortune, power), unless we see ourselves in much the same way, all that bounces off us like a drop of water on a drumhead. If that’s the case, there is never enough of the external. I heard someone say recently, “It’s too bad they didn’t know how much they were loved.”  The outside world gave them bundles and bundles of love, of adoration. But they, on the inside, didn’t feel that they were lovable, so it didn’t make enough of a difference what others said to and about them.

A good friend was relating the story of being with a group of her friends who were exclaiming about the beautiful, spectacular rainbow. She searched and searched for it and just couldn’t see it. It was only later that she realized that she had been wearing her sunglasses. I wonder how much of the joy of life I have missed because of the emotional “sunglasses” I was wearing.


I read somewhere that wisdom is experience put into action. I like that definition.


I was watching a dog slurp up a bucket full of water. I started thinking that they don’t have a very efficient and effective water-taker-upper. There I go, making another judgment. Seems it works simply fine for them.


I saw a sign that said, “American Express (credit cards) warmly accepted here.”  What is the alternative? Coolly? Hotly? Lukewarmly? Just wondering.


Most children in our culture are born into and raised in a money-centric environment. I am not quite sure why so many then lament their children’s attitudes and behaviors around money, I have a hunch their behaviors simply represent the logical effects of the money parts of our culture that we parental units would prefer not to notice.


I was wondering why pickles have bumps. I’d imagine that somewhere out there in the universe, someone has made it their life’s work to answer that question.


A recent study suggested that a rough childhood accelerates brain development in kids, and as adults, causes them to ‘burn out’ faster.


I was speaking to a friend about a familial tragedy, the sudden tragic death of a young person, which had been deeply affecting me. They, lovingly, responded by saying something to the effect that things would be better once “I worked through it.”   The comment “once you’ve worked through it” seems to infer a promise that I’ve found can’t actually be kept. Not being able to “get through it,” or “over it,” does create a sense of alienation between the two of us, because I don’t or can’t “get over it.”   I don’t believe one ever “moves through,” or “gets over” such things. I believe it is carried for the rest of our lives. How we carry it is the only choice we have, not whether.


When I am disturbed, I remember the number, 1.618:1.  That gives me great comfort.


What I do with what I see, feel, and experience is simply a piece of information, a part of what it means to be human.


I can visualize what it means when I read on the menu, Pan fried, Macadamia Nut encrusted Mahi-Mahi. Or Seared Scallops. Or Braised ribs. Jerked meat, I understand isn’t actually ‘jerked,’ as in whiplashed (though the image of hunks of meat being whiplashed seems like it would be fun to watch, maybe even turned into a sport?)  And I have heard of and actually eaten Pulled Chicken and Pulled Pork. When I saw on the menu or an upscale restaurant “Pulled Sausage Links,” I paused. The initial images of that technique, as I imagined it, of sausage making were (and remain) troubling. I decided not to order that.


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