Dove with Branch
March 19, 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, Regarding the letter from Robert C (3/05/07): We are born the way we are. We can’t help it because we are short or tall, dark or light skinned. It is just the way we are born. Other people will sometimes look down on us because they think we are inferior or just different. They have learned that it is great sport to make fun of us. If we allow this to happen because we feel insecure about ourselves then we really take the fun out of life. Once you realize you are okay just the way you are you can learn to let other people talk that way without letting it bother you. – Betty L

Dear Betty, Right on! Some people get power over other people by picking on them. The truth of the matter is we are all equal, but don’t really believe we are because our parents and the world have taught us to believe we are deficient is some way. If we respond by being upset they have accomplished their purpose. Just recognize the truth that they have the right to say what they want but, that you have the right not to be upset by it. – the Dean

Dear Dean, Some additional thoughts on Robert C: We live in a society where people “rise to the top” by stepping on other people. They think it is a "dog eat dog world” so they put us down just so they will feel better. We can’t let them step on us we need to fight back. If we don’t, they win and we lose. – Albert in Atlanta

Dear Albert, If we are going to operate by the same rules they do, then you are right. Under their rules the tough guy wins the game. But if you are going to enjoy life then it is not a good game to play because it is stressful and no matter how good you are, sometimes you lose. Better to play the game of life based on love and you will attract the people and the experiences to you that will make life wonderful. Ask yourself, “Do I want to enjoy this life or do I want to acquire power and possessions?” You will be surprised how much true personal power you achieve through love. - 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

As a people we have embraced the idea of an end to warfare and that we would like to live in peace. But at the same time we have not accepted the idea that our world can be peaceful. We see it as a world where we are all competing for limited resources and if we don’t prevail; we won’t survive. We believe in survival of the fittest so we see life as a struggle to survive

If we stop and reflect for a moment we will realize that we are using much of those “limited resources” just for the struggle. We use about half of our national resources in this country just to support our fight for survival (supremacy) as a nation. We make our legal system an adversarial system and give half the resources (money) to the warriors (lawyers). If we could just double our available resources by learning to get along with each other, and find peaceful resolutions to our problems we could double the standard of living for everyone! The petroleum we use to support our military could solve our current gasoline shortage problem. It would release a lot of our mental energy for finding long term solutions to our energy needs as well.

When we can’t think beyond our present need for preservation we don’t do a good job of providing for the future. Let’s start looking more outside the box for solutions to our problems. Let’s look more for solutions that will enrich our quality of life. Let’s be more open to change. We know things aren’t working exactly the way we want them to be. Let’s be more respectful of others, they are trying to solve the same problems. They are just working with a different vision. Let’s create a new common vision and work on it together.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Most of us want to be true to our own belief systems. We want to respond the way we believe we should, rather than how we feel at the moment. Learn to follow your positive impulses in responding to situations. If you try to respond in the way you think others want you to respond, you will find it more difficult to feel good about yourself.

You probably grew up learning how to respond the way your parents and teachers told you that you should respond. You have learned those lessons from others, but you are an adult now. Now is the time to look at the way you are responding to the requests of others and make sure that you are responding the way you want to respond, not just the way you were taught. If you often don’t like how you feel about what you are doing or saying, pay attention and try to determine why that is happening. Determine what changes you can make in your responses so that you will no longer be feeling negative about the actions you take.

You can learn to be in control and choose the behavior you desire. If you whine about something, remember that you have chosen that behavior. Work at seeing how self-defeating it is to whine about things. Keep looking for the times you complain about things. Refuse to accept that behavior from yourself. Change your complaining attitude to one of observing and evaluating what is going on. The thing you change by complaining is how you feel, and how others feel about you. When you complain you make yourself feel bad. You also make everyone else feel bad. Also, you will generally get a less positive response from others when you complain.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I listen to peaceful music.

Tuesday: Today I sit in a peaceful environment.

Wednesday: Today I reclaim my inner peace.

Thursday: Today I share my commitment to peace.

Friday: Today I delight in being me.

Saturday: Today I visualize world peace.

Sunday: Today I commit to resolve differences peacefully.

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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