Dove with Branch
April 23, 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 am a young professional working woman. I enjoy my work and I enjoy my family. I stayed home until my children were in school and get home early so that I have time to be with them. My husband and I agreed to this. We both work the same hours and get home at the same time. My problem is that he refuses to help with the housework. As a result I have much less time with the children and he just uses his time to watch sports on TV. This wouldn’t be so bad but the kids aren’t interested in sports. I have talked to him but he refuses saying it is “women’s work.” How can I get him to help with the housework? – Hardworking Hanna

Dear Hanna, It seems you are making good choices for your children, congratulations! Obviously you and your husband have a different view of the relationship. Have your explained to him why you need help with the housework? If you have and he still doesn’t care, then you have an even larger problem. You need to find a way to balance the load in your relationship; accept that you are the heavy load bearer; or find some other way to resolve this problem. If you are skilled in this you should be able to save the relationship and the family both, without having to carry a heavy cross. – the Dean

Dear Dean, My wife will not keep the house clean. I am embarrassed to bring clients and associates home from work. It is important for my job. What can I do? – Brandon in Oakland

Dear Brandon, You have many choices. You can get your wife to see value for the family in doing the cleaning. You can do it yourself. You can hire it done. You can take your clients elsewhere. You can choose different work. You can choose a different wife (seems like a poor choice) or you can just be okay with it and make do. The choice is up to you and your skill in negotiating with your wife. Good luck!! – 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

I attended a discussion group last night discussing methods of nonviolence. It was disappointing to me as the subject content was more aligned with civil disobedience. Those present were more interested in how they could have their way than they were with the concern for what most people wanted. The comment that caught my attention the most was when someone referred to voting as the opiate of the people.

If we are to live together as a peaceful society, then we must have some method of determining and be willing to carry out the will of the people. Otherwise we have the tyranny of the powerful. If we are willing to fight for our own way; even when it is not the way of the majority, then the use of nonviolence just becomes a strategy we are using to have our own way. Revolution against the rule of the majority is much different than revolution against the rule of a powerful and abusing minority.

Most of us want to live in peace rather than just have our way. When our system is not functioning in a peaceful way our job should be to restore and use the system, not to overthrow it by the use of force, even if that force is nonviolent. We abandoned the idea of lynch mobs as a bad idea many years ago. We have the means in our society to create change that reflects the will of the people. When we see mistakes are being made our job is to bring it to the attention of others; seek better solutions; work to get them implemented; and finally to accept and abide by the decision chosen by the majority until that decision is changed. It would be better to live in a separate group whose ways we honor than it would be to war against the ways of those we live with.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Most often the anger directed toward us is due to the other person having different expectations than our own. They are operating under the assumption that we will act toward them in a certain way; and when we don’t, their anger is triggered. They may have very different beliefs and be totally unaware of our point of view or motivation; or they simply may be very different from us in many ways.

In dealing with another person’s emotions, it is important to be aware of the fact that the other person wants something to come out of their relationship with you. The key is to understand their expectations, and to help them understand yours.

Such mutual understanding is brought about by meaningful communication. Rather than expecting the other person to feel the same way as you do about the situation that has made them upset, make a real effort to find out how they are thinking about something. In order to get a good understanding of what’s driving their upset, so that you can ultimately diffuse it, you need to hone your listening and communication skills. Train yourself to be a good listener by learning how to “listen deeply.” To do this, you must put your own thoughts and beliefs on hold, and really focus on what the other person is saying.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: When someone is upset with you ask yourself why you think they are angry.

Tuesday: When someone is upset ask yourself what they are expecting from you.

Wednesday: When someone is angry with you ask yourself what different belief they have that is causing the upset.

Thursday: When someone is asking something from you find out exactly what they are expecting and why they do.

Friday: When you are asking something of someone make sure they understand exactly what you are expecting and why you expect it.

Saturday: When someone asks something from you try to understand their request from their point of view.

Sunday: Resolve to always be a good listener, and understand fully the meaning and feeling of what others are relating to you.

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