Dove with Branch
February 11, 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 like to wear bright colored shirts to work. My co-workers and even my wife and children often make fun of me and say that I must not take myself seriously or I would care more about what others thought. I enjoy the clothes, but I am upset by the criticism what should I do? - Chester in Des Moines

Dear Chester, You have choices. You can wear more subdued clothing, or you can learn not to be disturbed by their comments. The answer that may be the best in the long run, but may seem the most difficult at first is to not be upset by their comments. This is something you can learn to do that may pay great rewards in other areas of your life as well. We are happier when we are controlled by our own thinking, instead of the opinion of others. Trust yourself. Love yourself and allow others to express opinions different than your own without being disturbed by them. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I try to remain positive and I always greet everyone at work with my very best smile. However they often don't respond in a similar manner and this upsets me very much. How do you suggest I handle this? - Susanne in San Diego

Dear Susanne, It is wonderful that you give your gift of cheer. But give it freely. Do not expect that others must accept it, or owe you anything in return. A gift is to be offered without strings. You offered it to make the world better. Don't demand in your own mind that your gift must be returned, or even accepted by the other person. Allow them to be the way they want to be. - 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

There are three kinds of relationships. The first is the I and others relationships where we look at others as different and separate from us. It is the "us against the world" relationship. Many of us spend most of our time in these kinds of relationships. When we do life seems like a struggle. If we are not battling to get to the top of the heap, we are using all of our energy to survive. Unless we are one of the few winners, this kind of relationship is not very enjoyable to us. It often makes life seem empty, even for the winners.

The second kind of relationship is the "I - You" relationship. In this relationship we begin to care about others as well as ourselves. We become concerned for the wellbeing of others, especially those we have chosen as friends. These relationships are very enriching in our life, except when we enter into them with someone who is looking at it as an "I and others relationship". An example is the partner who refuses to go to counseling when differences cannot be resolved satisfactorily.

The third kind of relationship is the "We" relationship where the relationship becomes the entity and we become the participants in it. We are in this together. The goal we are working for is a successful relationship. Instead of the object being a way to make me happy, it becomes a way to make "We" happy. These are the most rewarding kind of relationships. When most of our relationships become this way we will find personal peace and create peace in our society.

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
 

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email: drdean@lifewithoutanger.com
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