Dove with Branch
April 14, 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, My husband is always complaining about the clothes I wear. He is always telling me to wear something more appropriate. I like to wear prints and slacks. He thinks women should wear dresses or skirts in plain patterns. Should I wear the clothes he likes? - Cynthia in NE

Dear Cynthia, Only if you want to! He wants you to dress differently and it is okay for him to let you know that. However, you are the one who gets to choose your clothing. Consider how you want your life to be, including your relationship, and make a choice. What he thinks is only one of the factors you should consider. Ask yourself if you are doing this because it is what you want for yourself. If the answer is yes, then continue to wear what you have always worn. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My wife doesn't like to cook. I would like a nice dinner after a long day. When I get home I need a warm meal but I seldom get it. She is always busy with the children or has been to some gabfest with the girls and is tired. How can I get her to prepare a decent meal? - Wayne in Santa Cruz

Dear Wayne, Perhaps you can't. It is not her job to prepare a hot meal for you unless she has agreed that it is her job. Did she agree to be the cook, or do you just expect it because that is what women do? If she agreed to it, find out how you can be supportive. If she didn't agree to be the cook then find out how you can have a hot meal; or eat a cold one. This is obviously a part of the relationship that is causing a problem. Perhaps it is as simple as your wife resenting you being the boss. It is way past time to sit down together and find a solution that will fulfill the desires of both of you. - 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 say we are a free society but what do we mean by that? When someone is curious about our age, for instance, do we give them the emotional freedom to ask; or are we upset by their question? I believe freedom should include giving people the right to be the way they want to be without emotionally attacking them or resisting them, just because you don't like what they are doing.

People who are raised in different cultures have different values. Since we are a multi-cultural society we have a lot of different and sometimes conflicting values in our common society. Instead of embracing and respecting those values that are different than our own, we often judge them. We sometimes go so far as to try to eliminate the way others do things just because we don't think they are appropriate. We try to make everyone play by "our rules."

If we are going to honor freedom then let's give up the idea of creating a "cookie cutter" society and embrace the differences. If you are uncomfortable with the values of others consider honoring and accepting them instead of resisting and trying to change them. Freedom includes embracing the rights of others to be how they want to be. We have come a long way. Women have the right to vote. We all get to eat in the same restaurant. Let's give up the idea of trying to make others do something just because we think it is the way things should be done. We can only enjoy life when we allow all others the opportunity to enjoy life as well!

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If we think we must have a certain result, then we are addicted to the outcome. If we desire a certain result, we have a preference. If we have no preference as to what the results will be then it is easy to be accepting. If we are accepting, then we have no negative emotions attached to the event or to the outcome. We can also learn that we do not have to be emotionally attached to the outcome, even when we have a preference. We can accept the idea that we are willing to try things the other person's way.

For everything that happens in our life, there are three possibilities: (1) We can change it, (2) We can leave it, or (3) We can accept it. With each event in our life we need to make this choice. For example; consider your work. You may not be happy with it just the way it is. Is there a way you might change it to make it better? If that is not possible, then your next choice might be to leave it. That may not be possible for the present, because you may need the work in order to eat, or pay the rent. You then can choose to accept your work, or you may choose to make a plan to change to new employment in the future. If you choose to make a change later, then you need to make the decision to accept your work for now. As with all of life's experiences, if we don't find a way to make our work experience a positive one, then we are left with negative emotions in our lives.

To remove any anger or other negative emotions from your life, you need to apply this principle of change it, leave it, or accept it each time you need to make a choice. The important thing is to remember that if you can't change something and are not going to leave it that the only choice left for you is to accept it.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I release all anger from my life.

Tuesday: Today I celebrate my commitment to live in peace.

Wednesday: Every day I join others in a prayer for world peace.

Thursday: Today I accept the viewpoints of others as valid for them.

Friday: Today I agree to understand the viewpoints of others.

Saturday: Today I choose to feel loving toward those whom I disagree with.

Sunday: Today I choose to love the world and appreciate my life experience.

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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