Dove with Branch
January 22, 2007 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Hello! - Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My husband never seems to like the clothes I wear. He is always telling me to wear something more appropriate. I like to wear jeans and blouses with bright flower prints. He doesn’t like bright colors and thinks women shouldn’t wear pants. Should I dress to please him? – Casual Kate

Dear Kate, Only if you want to! He would like you to dress differently and it is okay for him to let you know that. You, however, are the one who gets to choose what you wear. What he thinks is only one of the factors you should consider. Ask yourself if you are doing this because it is what you want for yourself. If the answer is yes, then continue to wear what you have always worn. – the Dean

Dear Dean, I have retired and I am at home during the day. I find my wife never does the breakfast dishes until just before she starts dinner. The sink looks like a mess and makes it difficult to fix a snack. How can I get her to clean it up? – Fred in Spokane

Dear Fred, You can suggest doing something that she wants done in return for her doing the dishes. Better yet, do the dishes for her in trade for some other chore. Best of all, why don’t you just do the dishes in a cheerful way and ask her if there are any more to do while you are at it? The dishes in the sink are a problem for you, but apparently not for her. Complaining and demanding others do things your way are not positive ways to solve problems. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments 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
  Globe Magnify Glass

Your neighbor’s dog comes onto your lawn and leaves a deposit. You are upset and you don’t want this to happen again. What do you do about it? Do you shout at your neighbor or throw it back on his lawn, or maybe both? This is a solution that may feel good at the time. But how effective will it be in solving the problem? What is the real problem in the first place? Isn’t the real problem living peacefully with your neighbors?

When we get angry and retaliate, how effective are we in dealing with the bigger problem? Not very! But this is what we do all too often, in personal as well as international relations. We often don’t even stop to examine the circumstances and find out exactly what happened, or why. Was it intentional, negligent, orunintended? We don’t even know if our neighbor was aware of what happened. We immediately blame and dislike our neighbor regardless of the circumstances, even though our cat may be misusing their backyard.

Let’s talk to our neighbor in a friendly way to bring attention to and resolve these kinds of problems. We will then find solutions that are compatible with the underlying problem of living together in peace.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

As we grow we are taught certain ideas of how the world is – by our society, and by those around us – our parents, our teachers, and our friends. We take all of this in and form our own idea of how the world is. We then form expectations of how things should happen in order to fit with our own special idea of how the world is. When things don’t happen that way; when reality doesn’t match our idea of what the world is or what we think it should be; we get fearful or angry.

We need to realize that our idea of how the "world is," is only our ideal world, as we see it, not the real world at all. If what is happening in the world doesn’t conform to your idea of what should be happening, then take it as a clue that your ideal world does not actually match the real world. If you could accept the idea that what is happening in the real world is appropriate for the present state of the world, then you would have nothing to be angry about.

To change the world we start by accepting it as it is. It is a little bit like buying an old house and then fixing it up to make it our dream home. We start by accepting it for what it is now. We then go to work making it what we want it to be, and keep at it until the change is complete.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about something that a neighbor or associate does that upsets you and ask yourself why you are upset.

Tuesday: Think about this problem in relation to the bigger issue of living together in peace.

Wednesday: Think about the problem from your neighbor or associate’s point of view.

Thursday: Consider possible positive solutions to the problem.

Friday: Look for a way to solve this problem to both you and your neighbor or associate’s satisfaction.

Saturday: Choose the solution that you think will be the most effective.

Sunday: Implement the solution you have chosen.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes
 

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Learning How to Communicate

Learn how to actually listen to and understand what the other person is saying. Learn how to have the other person actually listen and understand what you are saying. Learn how to express and understand both the emotional and factual content of communication.

You can schedule a phone seminar for the days offered. You can schedule them at your convenience for any day Monday through Thursday between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM Pacific Time by calling 800-359-6015 or e-mailing drdean@lifewithoutanger.com at least 24 hours in advance to arrange a scheduled time.

The price is $15.00 for a one hour seminar. If you subscribe to my free newsletter “Insights from the Dean of Peace” you are entitled to two free phone seminars to use at your convenience.

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Past issues of this newsletter for the year 2006 are archived on my website.

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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

 

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Dean Of Peace | P.O. Box 535 | Elmira | OR | 97437