Dove with Branch
February 25, 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, Regarding Sandra (1/28) whose daughter no longer keeps in touch with her I offer the following advice: The principle to follow is to always be generous to others whenever you can and not to ask for, or expect anything in return. We can have negotiated transactions, which is appropriate in business and when someone is asking for help and we are unable to give it freely. When we do something voluntarily for someone we should ask for nothing in return, and that includes our own children. They never asked to be related to you and raising them creates no obligation to be loyal or friendly unless they feel that they want to. Be satisfied that you raised an independent daughter who no longer needs you. - Cori in MO

Dear Cori, Thank you for that great insight. Even though humans are social people all of our adult relationships should be voluntary. If someone wants a relationship to be a certain way they should be free to be that way (within the law). We can't control what others do. When we demand them to be a certain way we just set ourselves up for disappointment. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My daughter has married a man who doesn't provide for their family. He is unable to hold a job. She works full time and still has to do all the housework. My daughter does everything and never complains. I no longer want this no-good in my home but my daughter won't come if he is not invited. What should I do about this? - Cynthia in Spokane

Dear Cynthia, Invite the whole family to your home on appropriate occasions. Visit your daughter (and the children) at her home and elsewhere when you can. If your daughter loves this man you must accept him to continue a loving relationship with your daughter. You do not have to love him but accept him as what he is; the man your daughter loves. Allow your daughter to make her own choices and accept them. If she is happy with her choice don't try to make her unhappy. - 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 see freedom as the right to do as we please without interference from others. We have the right to become more educated, choose our religious faith, and our form of government. We also have the right to know what is right and to fight for our causes. The problem with this concept of freedom is that it does not take into consideration the freedom of others. If they do not agree with our "right causes," then we think they are wrong and must be corrected or submit to our will.

We need to expand our idea of freedom to include the right of freedom for other people. They have the same right to have causes and beliefs that are different than our own. We need to consider the right of other people to be free as important as our own right to be free!

Once we see freedom as something we create together we see the necessity of understanding the other person's point of view instead of treating it as wrong. We don't consider others just to be fair. We do so in our own self interest. When I realize my freedom depends on my ability to understand your thinking, I will pay more attention to and be more accepting of what you say and do.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

In order to have World Peace we must first learn a way of living that allows us to always experience Personal Peace. Personal Peace comes from the way we view and respond to the world around us. Our own personal world and the way we feel about it is determined by the way we chose to respond rather than by what actually happens to us.

Whatever happens is simply what happens. How we choose to view it is determined by our own personal belief system, the way we look at things, and how we feel about all of the stuff that has happened to us in the past. How we feel, and how we respond to something always comes from our own personal choice that we make at the moment the event or thought occurs to us.

Most of us have learned to judge events as either good or bad and respond accordingly. This is the way our parents and the world have taught us how to deal with things. We are taught that we are supposed to feel bad, or angry, when certain things happen. Too often we make a judgment that things are bad and then respond from our negative emotions, instead of being able to calmly think about what happened before we choose how to respond. Emotional choices limit us to responses based on our past.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think of the Love I receive from others.

Tuesday: Today I will listen with an open heart.

Wednesday: Today I will take time to be with my family.

Thursday: Today I take time to appreciate nature.

Friday: Today I act in kind and loving ways.

Saturday: Today I smile, have fun and laugh.

Sunday: Today I help someone in need.

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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