Dove with Branch
July 7, 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 smokes in the house. This makes the house very unpleasant. It is unhealthy and is not a good example for our children. How can I get him to stop smoking? - Sherri in CA

Dear Sherri, Unless he made an agreement with you not to smoke before you married, the question should be, "How do we get him to stop smoking in the house?" He has a right to smoke. He doesn't have a right to expose you to it. You could leave the house; or even the marriage. Hopefully you can find a better solution. If he is unwilling to go outside, or into a certain room alone, you are left with a difficult choice. Look for alternatives until you find the one that works for you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, Regarding your Ask the Dean? question of 5/26 about dealing with a difficult day at work: Another choice is to take 15 minutes between work and home, even if you have to pull off to the side of the road, and just take the time to reflect on the days events, and let all the dreck drain from your brain before you make it home. - Eldon in OR

Dear Eldon, I good suggestion! The main point is to learn to avoid negativity, but the most important thing you can do when you experience it is to take action to remove it. So many just continue on and allow the negativity to poison their future conduct. When we find we have a problem the best course is to deal with it immediately. If we are unable to deal with it successfully then we should take the time to examine it more closely and to learn new ways deal with the problem. - 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 proper and fitting for us to have moral laws in our society. If we did not do this, then we would be able to treat each other in any way we feel fit. For instance, if we felt it was justified to shoot someone who injured someone in our family in any way, and there was no law against it we would do it. In order to have peace in our society we must have common agreement on what is right and wrong.

A problem comes about when we decide what is right or wrong in our society must also be right or wrong in all societies. We have equal rights; now everyone must. We have democratic government; now everyone must. We do not allow age, gender or religious discrimination in the workplace; now everyone must. Perhaps these are good laws, but who is to decide that when others disagree?

There is a way that we can do that peacefully. We can create a world governing body that can decide those issues. We have a governing body now, the "United Nations." However, we do not allow it settle those issues because we are afraid we may disagree with the rules created. Until we come together as a world body and agree to resolve these issues -decide when we must agree and when we are allowed to disagree - we will never experience a peaceful world society.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Any time we set up specific expectations, or requirements for what must happen, or what we expect others to do in order to have happiness in our lives, we set ourselves up for anger and frustration. We are all unique individuals, and other people are not trained to, nor do they expect to meet, our every need. They are much more concerned with their own needs than they are with ours. Don't expect others to have known, or done what you would have wanted them to. Don't get stuck in the "they should have ----" trap.

Satisfying and positive relationships result from our mutual caring about and assisting each other, not from obligation. While others have no obligation to meet our needs, they often find they will benefit from doing so. When we help others we often get much more in return. Being of service to others will produce much happiness. It will also remove many of the potential anger- producing situations from our life.

Too often we end up manipulating others to do things our way without even realizing it. This creates anger because it's not what they want to do and they will therefore resist us. And this resistance will cause us both to be angry.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the things that I expect others to do for me.

Tuesday: I think about the things I expect of others that upset me when they do not do them.

Wednesday: I think about the things I expect from others that upset them.

Thursday: I think about how I respond when others do not meet my expectations.

Friday: Today I release the expectations I have for others.

Saturday: I do not ask others to do anything for me that I do not want to do.

Sunday: I appreciate and rejoice in the things that others do for me because they want to.

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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