Dove with Branch
April 21, 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, We have two wonderful children. They are very active in school and community activities. My wife is busy taking them to practice and doing all the other things necessary to support them. She says she is so busy with the kids that she never has time to do the housekeeping. The truth is she is just lazy. We entertain guests at home often because of my business and we need our home to look nice. How can I make her realize the importance of this so that she has the house looking nice when company arrives? - Mel in CO

Dear Mel, You are not the boss. You shouldn't be making your wife understand anything. You have a need for a clean house. There are four of you who can each clean all or part of it. You have many solutions besides requiring your wife to do it. I am sure she already understands your need for a clean house. I suggest you find a positive way for her to be able to accomplish this or find another way to get it done. Anyone can clean the house only your wife is available to be a loving mother. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have retired and I am at home during the day. I find my wife never does the breakfast dishes until just before she starts dinner. The sink looks like a mess and makes it difficult to fix a snack. How can I get her to clean it up? - Phillip in Tempe

Dear Phillip, You can suggest doing something that she wants done in return for her doing the dishes. Better yet, do the dishes for her in trade for some other chore. You could just do the dishes in a cheerful way and ask her if there are any more to do while you are at it? You could even decide that leaving dirty dishes in the sink is acceptable. The dishes in the sink are a problem for you, but apparently not for her. Complaining and demanding that others do things your way are not positive ways to solve problems. - 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

It is a part of our nature to be violent. It is also a part of our nature to be angry, fearful, controlling, cheating, greedy, and all those things we associate with the unpleasant world that many of us see ourselves as living in. It is also a part of our nature to be loving, caring, peaceful, sharing and joyful. We humans have the free will to be whichever of these things we choose to be at any given moment. In any given instance we always choose whichever of these things that our beliefs tell us we should choose. We choose what we do because we learn and believe that it is what we should do. We get angry simply because we should get angry in a certain situation. If we had learned to look at this same event or circumstances differently, we would have responded differently.

What if instead of judging each event by how we believe it should be, we change to judging it by the results it produces? If we look at things this way, then when things don't turn out the way we want we are not left with a feeling of being violated! Instead we would spend our energy looking for a new way to respond to the event that is in line with our greater goal of living peacefully and in harmony with others.

This is something that will not happen overnight, but can be and must be learned if we are to live in a peaceful world. The system of trying to make us all think and act the same has been tried and failed. This new way of thinking is the hope we have of making life joyful for all.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Realize that what you are thinking may be hurting you. Choose to replace your negative thoughts with loving positive thoughts. People want to be loved. If you hold back your anger and give them love instead they will respond in a positive way.

When others are positive, it is easier for you to be positive. Ask yourself, "If I was feeling love, what would I do now?" Realize that the other person is not intentionally trying to hurt you. They are just doing the best they can. Do not blame other people for not playing by the rules. They are playing by the rules, "their rules." They are living their life, not yours. We all have some rules of our society that we do not accept. Others are entitled to reject different ones than you do.

Remember that you have no right to control other people. The fact that they have done something you think is wrong gives you no right to control them or try to change them, unless of course you are a policeman. Remind yourself of this when you are upset at how others are acting. Once you tell yourself, "I do not control what other people do," it is easier to free yourself from the anger that results when others are not doing things the way you feel they should be done.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Make a list of the things that upset you the most about your family.

Tuesday: Think of a new positive way of feeling about each item on your list.

Wednesday: Think of the things that upset you the most about your work.

Thursday: Think of a new positive way of feeling about each item on your list.

Friday: Make a list of the things that upset you the most about your government.

Saturday: Think of a new positive way of feeling about each item on your list.

Sunday: Resolve to develop new positive responses for anything you find upsetting in your life.

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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