Dove with Branch
January 28, 2008 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I put my only daughter through college. She has taken a job in another state and married a man whom I hardly know. The only contact I have is Christmas and birthday cards. I tell her to call but she doesn't. I miss her very much. What do you suggest? - Sandra in Omaha

Dear Sandra, The lessons she learned growing up apparently did not include keeping in close touch with her mother. Perhaps this is because you taught her to be independent. Now is the time to give her whatever love she will accept, and appreciate the person you have taught her to become. Parenting is about love, not about obligations. You can try to find a positive way to be in her life, but do not offer beyond what she is willing to accept. Perhaps unfortunately, our society does not include an obligation to caring for our parents. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I love photos and I make collages with them and display them on my walls. My husband says that he does not like collages and refuses to allow them to be displayed in the home. We seem to be OK with everything else. He says that some of my pictures include old boyfriends and he doesn't want to be reminded of them. I have no love attachment to old boyfriends but I like be reminded of my fond memories. Should I throw away the old pictures just to make him happy? - Monica in Santa Cruz

Dear Monica, Yes, no, and maybe. The real problem here seems to be your husband's jealousy. It isn't necessary to eliminate your collages just because of his problem and he needs to work on getting over his jealousy. To have a successful marriage he needs to learn to trust. On the other hand a little compassion may be in order. Perhaps a compromise, such as putting the old pictures away and creating new ones might be helpful if he agrees to work on his problem in return. Neither of you are perfect. Helping each other to get better is the basis of a good relationship. - 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

Contrary to all of the strife we have in the world, I get the feeling that peace is breaking out all over. I feel this way because of the lessons have learned working in Nepal; and all of the e-mail I am receiving from people telling me about their own personal peace projects, and the stories about churches and universities that are establishing peace centers. The common thread is that they are positive centers for peace and are not established as resistance movements. The proposed Department of Peace legislation is a great example.

It looks as if we are really beginning to learn the lesson that we do not establish peace by fighting wars. Fighting against war is not peace. It is just another kind of war. We think that to fight for peace is justified because of the purpose, but it is still war! It is impossible to be peaceful when we are fighting for anything. If we are going to have peace, the first thing we must learn is to stop fighting, even for good stuff like peace. The fight for peace itself produces a lack of peace.

When we have learned to be at peace within ourselves and with those around us then we will be able to create peace in the world. As long as there is power in the belief that we can impose our way on others, or solve our differences through force, we cannot be peaceful. The more of us who learn this lesson, the more peace the world will experience. Learn peace - teach peace - and we will have peace.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Any time we set up specific expectations, or requirements for what must happen, or what we expect others to do in order to have happiness in our lives, we set ourselves up for anger and frustration. We are all unique individuals, and other people are not trained to, nor do they expect to meet, our every need. They are much more concerned with their own needs than they are with ours. Don't expect others to have known, or done what you would have wanted them to. Don't get stuck in the "they should have ." trap.

Satisfying and positive relationships result from our mutual caring about and assisting each other, not from obligation. While others have no obligation to meet our needs, they often find they will benefit from doing so. When we help others we often get much more in return. Being of service to others will produce much happiness. It will also remove many of the potential anger-producing situations from our life.

Too often we end up manipulating others to do things our way without even realizing it. This creates anger because it's not what they want to do and they will therefore resist us. And this resistance will cause us both to be angry.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the things that I expect others to do for me.

Tuesday: I think about the things I expect of others that upset me when they do not do them.

Wednesday: I think about the things I expect from others that upset them.

Thursday: I think about how I respond when others do not meet my expectations.

Friday: Today I release the expectations I have for others.

Saturday: I do not ask others to do anything for me that I would not do for myself.

Sunday: I appreciate and rejoice in the things that others do for me because they want to.

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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