Dove with Branch
February 12, 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, I work in a large corporate office. I have one co-worker that is always telling sexual jokes in my presence. He is actually a decent guy and I enjoy being around him except when he is telling those horrible jokes. I don’t want to cause any problems for him, but I want him to stop the jokes. I have told him to please stop. He just thinks it’s funny and continues. How can I get him to stop and still retain his friendship? – Betty in Atlanta

Dear Betty, The problem seems to be that he hasn’t really heard your message. So improve the telling and find a way to improve his listening. Be friendly but assertive. Let him know that “dirty jokes” are not okay with you. Tell him you value his friendship. Let him know that they are really hurtful and that not telling them is an essential part of your friendship. Ask him to do it as a personal favor, make the problem yours and not his and perhaps he will be more caring. If he cares he will be more helpful. If he doesn’t care perhaps you need to take a more assertive approach and have the two of you sit down with your supervisor to resolve the matter. – the Dean

Dear Dean, I like to keep my house clean. I do not allow anyone to wear shoes in the house. My children often ignore this rule. They play in the yard and get dirty and then track dirt into the house and they allow their friends to wear shoes even when they take their own off. I keep telling them but they never pay attention. What should I do? Nancy L.

Dear Nancy, It seems to me that you have a bigger problem than dirt. You need to find a way to get your children to pay attention to the rules. Explain what the rules are, the reason for the rule and what the consequences are. Then when the rule is violated, lovingly enforce the consequences without fail. I would include cleaning up the mess as part of the consequences. Idle threats and displays of anger are generally not effective and tend to create negativity in your relationship with your child. They also create a negative outlook on life in general because the child learns to resist what others direct her/him to do rather than to choose a response that is their own best interest. - 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

We try to solve the problems of the world from the viewpoint of our own beliefs and our own way of thinking. We know what we “should expect” from other people, and what they “should expect” from us. What we often fail to realize is that everyone else is trying to do the same. They are trying to solve the problems of the world from their way of thinking. We all want peace and joy in the world. The problem is that we have different ideas of what that is and how to achieve it.

Unfortunately this thinking often carries over to our expectations of what is right or wrong in relationships between countries. We make judgments that they are wrong and must change their behavior. How would you feel if the positions were reversed? We do need some rules about what is right and wrong for all. However they should be created by common agreement, treaty, a world governing body, or some other way we can come to agreement. Dictating how others must act, when we “know” they are wrong only leads to trouble. To live in Peace we must build a path that all societies are willing to walk down.

As long as we look at others who are trying to achieve the same basic things out of life as we are as our enemies, we shall continue to have problems. When we look on them as enemies we think that imposing our way on them will solve our problems. When we look on them as friends we try to help them solve their problems. And they try to help us solve our problems. Let’s quit choosing sides and become friends with the rest of the world!

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Peace can only come from within the individual. Peace cannot be imposed on people. No matter how enlightened some concept or philosophy may seem if it is not embraced by most individuals it will not create peace. It is the nature of humans to resist the things they do not understand or accept. If a concept is not accepted by society then that concept will not survive peacefully because we humans will continue to resist what we do not accept of our own free will. Thus the great revolutions we see in our history.

However true this is, it remains the nature of mankind to seek peace. To humans, love feels good, and fear and anger feel bad. We grew up in a world where the strong have dominated the weak. In our early society, before we had laws, strength; either individually, or that of the community or nation was the way we survived. Tribes banded together for their survival. Other tribes who were more aggressive banded together to provide for themselves by taking from the weaker and less aggressive tribes.

As our society evolved we saw that great power as well as wealth was to be desired. However, as we evolved intellectually we came to realize that those in power tended to look out for their own self-interests rather than those of the group. As people became more aware they refused to accept the leader of power. As the people became strong enough they began to overthrow their abusive leadership and replace it with leadership whose power is derived from the consent of the governed. That process is still going on today in many parts of the world. It is still being perfected and improved everywhere it exists as the people grow more in awareness. Gradually those governments who want to take power over their own, or other people by force, are finding it more difficult to do so.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I listen without defending.

Tuesday: Today I speak words of encouragement.

Wednesday: Today I am aware of how my actions affect others.

Thursday: Today I offer compassion.

Friday: Today I apologize to anyone I have hurt.

Saturday: Today I give myself in loving service.

Sunday: Today I find something special about everyone I meet.

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
 

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