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

Safe Stress Tools for Survivin TNT Heaven - Part I

Mark Gorkin, LCSW ("The Stress Doc") Updated: Aug 1st 2013

musical notesI believe I'm honing in on my '60s mission (my age, not the decade): to become the Dr. Seuss of Stress (for Adults). The below Shrink Rap™ is the latest personification. In editing mode, I could hear and sense the Seussian rhythms and rhymes. Like so many others, as a kid I loved Dr. Seuss!

This is the first of a two-part "Poetic Essay/Shrink Rap." It captures some of the challenges in carving out and communicating with civility and integrity in a TNT world driven by technology and numbers, money, ego, and power. It even has a poetic morality tale. Enjoy. And please share!

Safe Stress Tools for Survivin TNT Heaven - Part I

Key communication tools, of great use for all but fools
Alas, never taught in primary schools.
So listen close and learn the rules
So listen close and wisely rule.

My initial suggestion, muse upon these suspicions
A real foundation for self-transformation:
Is it time to confess, when under duress?
As "do more with less" bitterness breeds like a virus -
From cutthroat chaos to mind games of chess.
The only norms: almost all can be pawns.

Flooded by noise the challenge is poise…
With all manner of gripes from ill-mannered types.
Clashing seas of memos to moats around silos.
The power tower's impressed as you shoulder all stress
Alas, data surfing and drowning in waves of b.s.
So grab hold, why don't ya…that new lifeline mantra:
"Turn your life over to Buddha Computah!"


It's a long way from heaven when TNT-driven
By "Time, Numbers &Technology"
Has it become today's trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?

When a leader avoids the smoldering baggage
How great the fear of collateral damage?
Does toxic anger have most walking on shells?
Are you entrapped in the office from hell?
Whether explosive, dismissive, or silently passive
Can a culture survive when folks are submissive?

One no longer grasps the depth of the scam:
"I am as important as I think I am!"
Well known for such all-consuming virtue
Is a towering ego now a bronzed statue?
Naturally, forever erect…
As others but humbly genuflect.


It's a long way from heaven when mostly pride-driven
By status, power, and money
Has it become the supreme trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?

No matter the social-media venues
Those fiery texts no longer make news.
Still…blaming "You"s never fail to abuse
Giving people their due as the righteous just spew:
"What's wrong with you!"; "You haven't a clue!"
Or one takes from the vault: "Of course, it's your fault."
Is this salt on the wound or more an assault?

Some with sly tact say matter of fact:
You, my good man, just have no impact!
Beware being caught between a hard place and a rock
By folk's using the Law of Loyalty Loop & Lock:

Those who never want you to answer back
Always want you to back their answer
With, "Yes, sir, No sir, No excuse, sir!"


It's a long way from heaven when hostility-driven
By "just kidding," scarcasm, and put-down irony
Has it become our snappy trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?

Please consider this true tale of e-caution:
About seething with anger and also exhaustion.
When battling an antagonist overseas
One he so wanted to slice at the knees
He composed a retort; oh, yes - cutting and short
It's a real dagger, the foe he will stagger. However…
In a state of total frenzy…uh, oh, he overkilled the enemy
Hitting "Send All" by mistake now translates to a wake:
A thousand in-boxes a coffin does make.
Alas and alack, for a keyboard attack
Of frenzied egoal engagement a career is now buried

Even with conflict just down the hall
Why not fight behind a virtual wall.
If the "e" in email stands for "escape"
Why bother dealing up front with a scrape.
Now when you send a post that does bristle
Is it less email and more an e-missile?


It's a long way from heaven when duplicity-driven
By gossip, back-stabbin, and sneaky enmity
Has it become the trusty trident trinity?
24/7, 24/7
Whatever happened to heart & soul livin?

One final query, as I am getting weary:
Was this creature simply born with the colic
Or has s/he over time morphed "blame-aholic?"

Part II Preview:

Whether sender or receiver, we'll provide some clues
On how to refuse or defuse blaming "You"s!
So until next time, with more Stress Doc rhyme
Try not to regress…better Practice Safe Stress!


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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