NO ONE HAS TO BE IT
by Michael Kuhr
The word IT can refer to anything. If used irresponsibly, the word IT can be used as a weapon. Being IT is like being out in a snowstorm and ten guys are throwing snowballs at you. Being IT is similar to being attacked from all sides. The weapons could be words, snowballs, or elbows. No one wants to be IT. We all have been IT at some point in our lives. Words can really hurt. If someone is talking to you and he says: “I don’t like IT”, “That’s IT”, or “IT smells,” one might wonder if he is talking about you. From here on out, the word IT will be replaced by the symbol (*).
The purpose for this substitution is to promote clarity of thought. The more that the word (*) is written and spoken, the more confusion there is in the world. When we encounter confusion, we experience discomfort. Depending on the intensity and duration of the discomfort, confusion can cause depression, obesity, and other stress related illnesses. We humans need to understand our environment. We crave meaning in our lives.
No one has to be (*). One elderly man was very ill. Nevertheless he wanted to go for a ride in his wheelchair. I took him down a street that was unfamiliar to me. We came to a sign that said, “Dead End”. I said ” (*) is time to go home now”. He said “Yes”. Then we turned and went back to his house. Later he told me that everything that I said to him was right. No one has to be (*). He died peacefully the next night.
Sometimes (*) is difficult to avoid using the word (*) in conversation. Instead of saying, “This weather is bad. I hate (*).” One can say, “This weather is bad. I hate this weather.” Granted, this language is awkward, but this language can be fun with the right attitude. You would be surprised at how many times we use the word (*) in normal conversation. If you can, do not use the word (*) for five minutes. The goals are: more clarity, less confusion.
Think of the game of tag. Someone tags you making you (*), you tag someone else making him the one who’s (*). No one wants to be (*)! In families the weaker ones are devastated by the (*) weapon. People will use any means to get ahead and stay ahead. (*) is like a hot potato. Nobody wants to be stuck with (*). Some people feel very uncomfortable if there is not a likely scapegoat that is readily available. They do not want to face their own issues.
A mother and son came to me with the following problem: He would not get up in the morning and she could not get him up. This soured their whole relationship. They were both (*). I asked the boy if he could set an alarm clock and wake himself up. He said he could do that and he did. At their next appointment, they both came in with smiles on their faces. They were visibly happier. No one has to be (*).
Michael Kuhr’s Vita
1976-1978 Arizona State University
MSW-Masters degree in Social Work
Family Counseling Agency-Tucson, Arizona
Eastside Counseling Center-Tucson, Arizona
1971-1976 University of Arizona
Psychology and Anthropology-double major
Two semesters of creative writing
1978 Project Family-Aptos, California
Ruth McClendon and Les Kadis
Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Training
1979 Eric Marcus- Los Angeles, California
A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF THREE MAJOR SCHOOLS OF FAMILY THERAPY
1967 Phillips Academy at Andover, Massachusetts
Coursework in creative writing.