Dove with Branch
February 18, 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 have a friend who has lots of troubles in his life. He needs someone to help and I do. The problem is that he doesn't seem to appreciate my help. He asks for my advice, ignores it, and then blames me when it doesn't work out. This leaves me feeling very hurt. How can I get him to appreciate what I do for him? - James in CO

Dear James, You probably can't. You can however learn not to expect or require his appreciation. You can learn to think that your advice is given with love and without "strings of appreciation" attached. If this doesn't work for you, and you want to retain him as a friend, try telling him that you have no more advice to give. If you still feel a need to help, and to be appreciated, it might pay to find a different friend. Friendship should be based on love, and without stress. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have been married three times without success. I have found a wonderful man who is attentive and whom I love very much. However, my experience has been that things change once you marry. I am afraid to try again. I don't think I can accept another failure; but I am lonesome. Should I consider marriage? How can I make sure it would be successful? - Carmen in Santa Clarita

Dear Carmen, If you want to consider marriage you should. Can you make sure it is a success? - No. Your first marriages gave you lessons. You can learn from the lessons, or repeat the mistakes. Some of them may have to do with choice, some with expectations, and some with your own behavior. Don't remarry until you have learned new thinking and behavior that will resolve those issues. Don't remarry because of need. Learning to be okay with being alone creates freedom in your 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

We listen to the news of what is going on in the world. We read the newspaper and get more of the same. We study history and see that this "man's inhumanity to man" has been going on forever, and it continues today. It is easy to draw the conclusion that this is our destiny. History will continue to repeat itself. That this is the human condition is an easy conclusion to draw.

If we look closely however, we see many reasons for hope. We have the desire to change. We have the capacity to learn. We have learned many lessons from our past mistakes. We now have more democratic governments than we did before. We still have too many wars, but they are more about freedom and less about conquest. Almost everyone is becoming educated to some level. We are learning how to make better choices for ourselves. We are learning to produce a higher quality of life for most people.

As more of us recognize the value of love, we move from that place of personal greed to caring for others. We do this because we realize it makes our own life better. We still act in our own self- interest. It is however an enlightened self- interest recognizing that ultimately we cannot be happy by harming others; and that this is an abundant world with plenty for all when, we learn to share. Perhaps the most important lesson is that sharing is good because it produces abundance and it produces love.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Perception and recognition is the way we have of evaluating the information than comes to us through our five senses and includes the specific way that we interpret that information. Each of us sees life from our own frame of reference. Our differing perceptions are often the source of conflict and anger. If we understand and choose to accept our differences however, our dissimilar perceptions can become a source of wisdom, joy, and humor in our lives.

We tend to perceive information in a way that supports the beliefs we have. First we take note of the information presented to us that validates our belief systems, and we often fail to notice things that do not. Next, we interpret the information that we receive in a way that is consistent with our existing belief system.

What if this wasn't necessarily the case? What if we considered the information in the light of differing belief systems? And what if we always looked at things from a number of points of view before making a decision? In order to win a trial lawyers are trained to carefully examine the other possible points of view. If they do not, they will not be prepared to respond with the best argument for their case. Likewise, you can learn to examine the information you receive from the points of view of all possibilities.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I appreciate the diversity in humankind.

Tuesday: Today I say only good things.

Wednesday: Today I say "I love you."

Thursday: Today I take time to breathe deeply.

Friday: Today I practice forgiveness.

Saturday: Today I am forgiveness in action.

Sunday: Today I take myself lightly.

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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