Category Archives: Karl’s blog entries

Entries by Karl J Krayer, PhD


Books marked as asterisks* are best sellers:
Books I am reading in February:
Killing Crazy Horse by Bill O’Reilly*
Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner*
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell
Books I read in January:
Daylight by David Baldacci*
Talking to Goats by Jim Gray*
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner
In an Instant by Suzanne Redrearn
Books I read in December:
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Bedpan Commando by June Wandrey
Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David
Near Dark by Brad Thor*

Why We Have a Holiday Today

On April 4, 1968, I was in a barbershop late in the day. My father took
me for a haircut and while I was waiting, a bulletin came in on the news to

explain that Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. had been killed. I was only 14

years old. What I remember the most was that my dad said “why can’t

people just vote against someone? Why do they have to kill anyone?” That

is a good question even today.

When I later visited the tombstone of Dr. King it was a very solemn

experience for me. To think for a minute about the causes that he stood for,

and how much courage he had, especially to stand up for people who could

not defend themselves, is amazing.

Not everyone was so excited. I taught Management at the University

of Dallas for 19 years before my stroke hit me. It was only two years ago

that the school decided to observe the holiday.

It is also true that President Ronald Reagan was opposed to the

holiday, claiming that if we have any more, why do people need to go to

work? On the floor of the U.S. Senate, without evidence, Jesse Helms

claimed that King was a communist supporter. When asked, Reagan said

“we will know in about 35 years won’t we,” talking about when the

ceremonial capsule would be unsealed. However, under pressure, Reagan

capitulated in the final months of 1983. He sat on the White House lawn and

signed a bill establishing a federal holiday for a man he had spent the

previous two decades opposing. What did they do? They sang “We Shall

Overcome,” which was very appropriate for the occasion.

It is impossible to cover everything he did, and what he was, in this

space. Dr. King was known as an activist and minister who promoted and

organized nonviolent protests. He played a pivotal role in advancing civil

rights in America. Dr. King won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to fight

racial inequality in a non-violent matter.

While he is most famous for his “I Have a Dream” speech, it was the
letter from the Birmingham Jail that is more memorable. If you have never

read it, you can find it in many different sources. The letter demonstrates

his command of figurative language. He used a strong call to action tone

both in writing and speaking. You cannot ignore how he turned the

non-violent protests around in America and showed people how to lead in a

different, but stronger way. Unfortunately, some supporters did exactly

what King did not want to do, by resorting to violence in streets.

In “The March on Washington” in 1963, Dr. King helped lead over

200,000 people to the Lincoln Memorial overlooking the Washington

Monument. The King march was organized by him and groups of civil rights,

labor, and religious organizations. The purpose was to gain civil and

economic equality for African-Americans (then, called Negros). It was the

strongest call ever to put an end to racism. His march was crucial in helping

to pass the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed discrimination based on race,

color, religion, sex, or national origin.

Dr. King also was famous for the Montgomery Bus Boycott and
Birmingham Campaign. As a leader of the Southern Christian Leadership

Conference, he brought many new ideas for which had never been publicly

expressed. He was also the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

History tells us that the assassin of Dr. King in Memphis was James

Earl Ray. You can see the photos taken on the balcony when King was shot.

Among them is the Reverend Jesse Jackson and others who pointed up to

that floor of the motel. Yet before his death, the family claimed otherwise.

They said that James Earl Ray did not kill Martin Luther King. “It pains my

heart,” said Bernice King, “that James Earl Ray had to spend his life in prison

paying for things he didn’t do.” Until her own death in 2006, Coretta Scott

King, was very clear that she believed that a conspiracy led to the

assassination. Her family filed a civil suit in 1999 to turn more information

publicly, and a jury ruled that the local, state, and federal governments were

liable for King’s death.

The low point in his career was plagiarism. While working on his

dissertation for his doctorate at Boston University, he heavily relied on

another author who had done research on the topic. An academic

committee later found that over half of King’s work was plagiarized yet

would not revoke his doctorate. Since he was dead by that time, a review

panel said the action would serve no purpose. The committee found that the

dissertation still “makes an intelligent contribution to scholarship.”

In the week when I wrote this blog, a group of men at BIND (Brain

Injury Network of Dallas) discussed the topic about “how the world would be

different if they were never born.” The idea came from the story about

George Bailey in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We can see that there is

no question about how the world would be different without Dr. King. My

view is that the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act would have been

extremely slow. The leadership of the non-violent movement would have

been in shambles. We would not have experienced his oratory, which was

best anyone would have wanted. His murder was senseless. But, like

martyrs before and after him, the contributions are timeless.

That is why we honor him today with this holiday.

Books for December and January

Books marked as asterisks* are best sellers:
Books I am reading in January:
Daylight by David Baldacci*
Talking to Goats by Jim Gray*
Killing Crazy Horse by Bill O’Reilly*
Never Tell by Lisa Gardner
Books I read in December:
You Are Not Alone by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen
Bedpan Commando by June Wandrey
Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-David
Near Dark by Brad Thor*
No photo description available.


Pity is Not for Us

By Karl J. Krayer, Ph.D.
Reprinted with permission from BIND
Brain Injury Network of Dallas
    I was a facilitator for the Men’s Group at BIND (Brain Injury Network of Dallas) on September 5. That meeting had a profound effect on me. We had a record nine participants to discuss this topic.
    I could not get this out of my mind. As a result, I started to gather more comments, and publish these in this blog post for BIND.
    This is the question we discussed that morning: “What do you think about other people who feel PITY because they know you have gone through a brain injury?”
Pity is defined as “the feeling of sorrow and compassion caused by the suffering and misfortunes of others.” Or, “the feeling when you witness the misfortune or suffering of someone who is worse off than you. Pity is feeling bad for someone else, because they are in an unfortunate situation, or at least, in a situation that is worse than your own.”
What hit me was: “Is that what we want? Or, to feel pity for us?” I asked several members: “How do you react to this? What do you want people to feel and say instead?”
    This reminded me about the Muscular Dystrophy campaign which lasted for years with Jerry Lewis. You may remember that there was an all-night annual Telethon to raise money for “his kids.” The show was live and produced nationally in Las Vegas and featured many stars in television and cinema. It was very successful until it moved its focus into pity. That is not what neither the sponsors nor the families and children wanted. The program fizzled out into obscurity.
    You will find ample stories and case studies about brain injury. We do not need to repeat these. However, there is a clear difference in how each of us might think. If we think that we are helpless and are filled with regret and sorrow, we may seek pity. In those cases, we would want people to take care of us. What happens when we shift our thinking? In those cases, the goal turns to take care of one’s self.
    So, what do we want instead? In our discussion it was clear that the participants want to be “real” about what happened to us.  We do not want to sugar-coat our experience. We do not want to be talked to like children. We want facts to learn what the next steps in recovery will be.
Our members do not seek pity to raise any money for our recovery. What is more important is a stronger understanding of what happened to us. We want to know how we can help ourselves and others around us. We either want to prevent a repeat of the injury, or learn to cope with it. We want to move on. We are willing to work in a different way even if it is slower and painful. The last thing we want is to stand still.
    Here are two comments I received:
“Being affected by my brain injury has been surprisingly positive for me. BIND, new friends, fun, happiness, and so on. Pity can be for others. Learning so much about the brain and how it works gives me a lot of pride – and understanding of others who also are affected by brain injuries. Thanks for asking!”
“I do not mind talking about my brain injury. But, if that is all we talk about, I lose interest quickly.”
    To me, this positive attitude is great to maintain. Obviously, we have down days and have doubts about the nature of our recovery. But, the question becomes not only what happened to us. We do not surrender anything about our condition. We look where we are going next and how to accomplish that.
    We do not need pity. Pity does not help anyone. We need help in other ways that are productive. Feeling sorry for us does not do that.

Take-Aways from “Your Next Five Moves”

PATRICK BET-DAVID author of  Your Next Five Moves 

You will gain:

CLARITY on what you want and who you want to be.

STRATEGY to help you reason in the war room and the board room.

GROWTH TACTICS for good times and bad.

SKILLS for building the right team based on strong values.

INSIGHT on power plays and the art of applying leverage.

Take Aways 

  1. Always think beyond your first move. Anticipate how others will respond and deploy additional moves that can’t be counteracted.
  2. Subscribe to the Valuetainment YouTube channel for educational content.
  3. Take the personal identity audit at the back of the book to learn more about yourself. The goal is to have a breakthrough.
  4. Discover what role suits you best and who you want to be. Examples include being an entrepreneur, intrapreneur, CEO/Founder, support team member, solopreneur, influencer, salesperson. Find the path that allows you to use your unique talents with the best odds for the highest possible return, and that also fires you up.
  5. Before making a decision, start out with the “rule of three” by creating three different proposals for dealing with an issue. It will allow you to compare them against each other to have some sort of reference.
  6. When you lose, fail, or make mistakes, reflect on the situation and learn from it. Don’t lose the lesson. Great processors rarely repeat their mistakes.
  7. Look at life as a big list of mathematical problems to solve. For effective decision making, solve for X to isolate your problem.
  8. Don’t be afraid of friction. Friction is good. Whether in life or business, it takes both courage and skill to be direct with people.
  9. When running your business, do not compromise on speed, execution, or efficiency. Look for ways to compress your time frames.
  10. When selling, negotiating, or influencing, instead of thinking only about what’s in it for you, think about how to find wins for those you are working with.


Books I Have Read – September-October 2020

Here are the newest books that I have read recently:

(Note: The books marked with a (*) are current best-sellers)

Current Books (October, 2020)
Rage by Bob Woodward(*)
Right Behind You by Lisa Garner
Bedpan Commando by June Wandrey
Recent Books (September, 2020)
Your Next Five Moves by Patrick Bet-Davis(*)
Look for Me by Lisa Garner
Near Dark by Brad Thor
Karl J. Krayer, Ph.D,
214 543-4458 / 
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