Dove with Branch
February 20, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
by Dean Van Leuven
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Ask the Dean?
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I want to color my hair purple like my friends do. My parents refuse to allow me to color my hair the way I want to, no matter how many times I ask. All of my friends are doing it and it is accepted by our school. Why shouldn't it be okay for me to color my hair like the other kids do? Beth in Reno.

Dear Beth, First of all, you should state your case and your reasons clearly and completely to your parents. They will listen if you remain polite and not argumentative. You need to accept their decision if they say no. The fact that all of your friends are coloring thier hair is not a sufficient reason that you should be allowed to do so. It is reasonable to be required to live by your parents' values unless they are illegal or unhealthy. When you are an adult you will be able to make your own choices. Until you become an adult it is your task to accept your parents' choices. Until you become an adult think of yourself as a person in training. You can work on which rules you choose to keep as an adult and be ready to take control of your life at that point. the Dean

Dear Dean, Every time my wife gets upset with me for getting home late I get angry and call her names. I just can't help myself. Overworked Donald in Fresno

Dear Overworked Donald, You won't be able to help yourself until you realize you can. You have not learned to control how you respond when someone upsets you. You have developed a bad habit and you need to break it. It just seems like you have to respond before you can think. Start by learning to count to ten, or have some other method of delaying your response until you can choose one that will work better for you. If the problem persists there are books and counselors available to help you. the Dean

Send your Ask the Dean Questions to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437 or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Globe Magnify Glass

When it comes to political candidates, we invariably want to know where they stand on all of the issues. When a politician is elected it will be their job to continually face new issues and problems; and make decisions in the best interest of us all. Perhaps we should be far more concerned with their reasoning skills, their objectivity, and their sense of fairness than where they stand on the issues. Most of the existing issues are pretty well decided anyway.

We should look for and respect politicians who will sift through all of the relevant information, consider all of the issues and aspects of a particular problem, and make the best decision based on their understanding of the problem; and of society's needs in general. What concerns me is that we have developed a system whereby the politicians need the support of special interest groups in order to be elected. We should be selecting politicians who have the foresight and courage to look for the best solutions for all segments of society.

A system where we try to elect those who do things the way we like leaves us zigzagging in all directions in our social growth in an adversarial society. It also causes constant conflict between the different groups who want things to be their way. We need to elect people who look out for the best interest of all of us, not just elect someone who looks out for our own personal interests.

Creating a Peaceful New World
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   World Peace

Our angers depend on our particular beliefs about the world and how we think we ought to experience it. Therefore, in order to understand our anger we need to look at where such beliefs come from. Our beliefs about ourselves and other people, about the world and how things should be, about how life should be lived, come mainly from our experiences growing up. What we learn from those experiences helps us to develop our unique pattern of responding to life in the ways that we do.

We learn anger from our parents, our friends, and our society. We are usually taught that anger is appropriate in certain circumstances. In fact, every book I have ever read on this subject has suggested that anger is normal - that we all express anger at certain times - and that such expression is healthy. This is because we live in an anger based society. We are taught to expect things to be a certain way and to be angry when they aren't.

The ability to get angry is a part of our nature. Whether we get angry or not is an exercise of free will. We must be aware that we are always free not to choose anger. Just because someone taught us that is what we should do, or that is what we feel like doing, does not mean that we should or must get angry.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Left Arrow

Monday: I pay attention to my feelings. When I am upset I search for the cause of my upset, knowing that the cause is inside of me.

Tuesday: When someone else is upset with me it is because of their problems and not my own. I refuse to be upset by their problems.

Wednesday: When I choose the response that is right for me I refuse to be upset if others do not accept it. They are free to choose how they should respond just as I am.

Thursday: I consider as many issues as possible before I choose the response that is best in this particular situation.

Friday: When I choose a response that is not working for me, I reexamine the matter and see if I can find a new one that will be more effective.

Saturday: There is always a positive response available in any situation. I just need to keep searching until I find it.

Sunday: When I find the way I respond is not effective, or is upsetting I choose a new and more effective response.

Additional Notes
 

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I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to drdean@lifewithoutanger.com

Reminder: I will do doing A Life Without Anger 1 Workshop on Friday, March 17th, and a Life Without Anger 2 Workshop on Saturday, March 18th, in Eugene, OR. If you are interested in attending please let us know.

 

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