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Mark Gorkin, LICSWMark Gorkin, LICSW
A Blog about reducing Stress in our lives.

Learning from the Fatal Flaw

Mark Gorkin, LCSW ("The Stress Doc") Updated: Jan 20th 2014

In light of another school shooting…

As a Critical Incident Consultant, I'm poignantly aware how unexpected dramas and tragedies lurk behind every corner and crevice of our hearts and minds…and also lie in the shadows of our homes, schools, and places of work. Out of the quiet, out of The Death of a Salesman closet, Arthur Miller screams: Attention must be paid! And sometimes we must risk trusting our gut, risk "overreacting" and being mislabeled, and say something to the right someone.

Learning from the Fatal Flaw

Did she really take her life over a phone?
Taken from a colleague…now all's undone!
One woman dead, one torn apart
Guilt spears a throbbing heart
Regret for filing that stolen report
Who is at fault? Who is at fault? Who is at fault?

Can one grasp obscure knowledge
On the all too human fatal edge?
To get on the same page, one must leave a stage
Masked by "got it together" pain and rage.
Even with the latest gauge, who knows faux-taupe from beige?
Who is a sage? Who is a sage? Who is a sage?

Yet a friend sensed her look, a fearful absent look.
Still her head stayed by the book…
Why didn't she speak up?
Neither one trusted their gut
"Don't be a pain in the butt!"
So we doubt? So we doubt? So we doubt?

Do we pass in the hall and nod
In a hazy-distant fog
And mouth, "How you doing?"…
But only reminiscing; more simply whistling
Who has time for real listening?
Do your thing? Do your thing? Do your thing?

Now so sad; maybe wiser: are we respecting one another?
Whatever happened to "sister" and "brother"?
Wide-eyed to foreign experience
Energized by expressive variance
Growing through world view contrariance.
Will you dance? Will you dance? Will you dance?

Is it too risky to share
Without some faith in the air?
Of course, you can't flip a switch, still
Pull one from a ditch; let another b*tch…
The sky's not falling - more like a glitch.
For a culture to be rich, offer a broad-shouldered niche.
Hey, it's "get real" or be a bust:
Now they might trust! Now they might trust! Now they might trust!


Mark Gorkin, LCSW (

Mark Gorkin, the Stress Doc ™, acclaimed Keynote and Kickoff Speaker, Webinar Presenter, Retreat Leader and Motivational Humorist, is the author of Practice Safe Stress and The Four Faces of Anger. A former Stress & Violence Prevention consultant for the US Postal Service, the Doc leads highly interactive, innovative and inspiring programs for corporations and government agencies, including the US Military, on stress resiliency/burnout prevention through humor, change and conflict management, generational communication, and 3 "R" -- Responsible, Resilient & Risk-Taking -- leadership-partnership team building. Email for his popular free newsletter & info on speaking programs. Check out his popular website -- -- called a "workplace resource" by National Public Radio (NPR). Stress Doc Mantra: "Think out of the box, perform outside the curve (the Bell Curve) and be out-rage-ous!"

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