Please, Good Readers, don't stop the dialogue


They say, sometimes, of a baseball pitcher, “He’s gonna waste one.” This means the pitcher has reason to deliberately not throw a strike. The pitcher is going to throw around the strike zone. It’s a chess game. His purpose is to test the batter. To lure the batter into the pitcher’s game. To see if the batter will expose some tendency or intention. To keep the batter off balance. So the pitcher “wastes one.”

Good Reader, you are the batter. I’m the pitcher. I’m going to waste one. “Waste” a column, that is, in service to clarification and shameless self-promotion.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been getting a cascade of questions about the when and whereabouts of the second of my twice-weekly column. Specifically, the Q&A version of Human Matters erstwhile published in The View, now available online only. Let me clarify ...

The Sunday Human Matters (you’re reading it right now) will continue in the actual, physical Sunday Review-Journal, and syndicated to other Stephens Media newspapers. It is also available online at www.reviewjournal.com/columns-blogs/steven-kalas, on Sunday morning.

Until recently, the online-only column was posted Tuesday mornings. In May, my View column was posted on the 6th, 13th, 17th and 22nd. A procedural change at the paper has most stories posted as soon as they are received and properly coded for the Web. So it is possible the day of the week you see my column will vary. However, the folks at View now plan to post my online-only column primarily on Fridays for consistency.

If you go to viewnews.com, there is a red “columns and blogs” button. View columnists are underneath the button and you may be able to click on my name to access the most recent column. If you don’t see my name, click on “columns and blogs” to get to a site featuring all the Review-Journal columnists, bloggers, op-ed writers, etc. I’m listed under “Living.” That is, the section of the newspaper called “Living.” Not “living” as opposed to “deceased.” Although perhaps someday the R-J will have a section called “Deceased.” And for certain that’s how I’ll be listed.

But I digress.

Both of my columns, whenever posted, can be found at the above link. So, if you enjoy hanging with Human Matters, then save it to your “favorites” and that’s where we’ll talk.

My intention on Sundays is to follow my heart, mind and passions, writing about whatever grabs my attention mattering to humans. Human matters. My desire for the second weekly column is to pursue the Q&A format with you, Good Reader. But that subject is the second reason this pitcher decided to “waste one.”

Ever since the second column went to online only, there has been a steady attrition of questions for the second column. I’ve spent some time contemplating the “why” of that. I’m hoping it’s because folks are still confused by the changes; not because, as my best friends have gleefully suggested: “Steven, the secret is out. You’re insufferably dull and boring!”

So, here’s my plea: I invite you, Good Reader, to join or rejoin the dialogue. Agree with me. Disagree with me. Decide that I’m brilliant. Or daft. Or the devil. But bring me an argument.

Or, bring me your own, separate question. Your own observation about life and the human experience. Some juicy piece of your own inner dialogue about what it means to be human. Tell me how you experience your life and the world. Ask your question — about life, family, marriage, child-rearing, love, work, play, culture, values — it’s all fair game. Nothing is more fun for me than The Dialogue.

I remind you of the rules: I will only publish your initials and the city from which you are writing. If you request and require even greater anonymity, then I will publish the initials “N.W.,” meaning “name withheld.” Or meaning “Nicholas Westerhoff,” should your name happen to be Nicholas Westerhoff. Who, if he wanted his name withheld, would present quite the paradox, yes?

I can’t promise every question will get answered and published. And, please, I am not available for therapy via email. But if you take my invitation seriously, I will take you seriously.

Because I admire people who are willing to think critically. I admire people who are willing to behold themselves, the good and the bad. I admire people who never give up on the vocation of becoming human.

I hope to hear from you!

Steven Kalas is a behavioral health consultant and counselor at Las Vegas Psychiatry and the author of “Human Matters: Wise and Witty Counsel on Relationships, Parenting, Grief and Doing the Right Thing” (Stephens Press). His columns also appear on Sundays in the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Contact him at 227-4165 or skalas@reviewjournal.com.