Dove with Branch
October 27, 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 am a secretary and my boss often asks me to stay late as he needs to write a letter he couldn't get to sooner or to finish something he has given me to do at the last minute. I have children who come home from school that I must be there to care for so this is not acceptable to me. This is very stressful for me. What can I say to him when he asks me to stay late to help him? - Margaret in GA

Dear Margaret, I assume that you are not required to stay by your work agreement. If staying is voluntary on your part you can simply say no. I suggest that you explain why you are unable to stay, adding that you would like to help but can't in this way. Perhaps you can suggest possible ways to solve the problem. Try not to be stressed by his request as it will affect your work relationship. "Think," - he has a right to ask - I have a right to say no - and let it go. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My wife and I drive to and from work together as we work for the same company. When we get home at night she wants to unwind and spend some "quality time" with the kids before she prepares dinner. We get home at four and we never eat before eight. The problem is that by that time I am starving. How can I get her to fix dinner first and then play with the kids? - Leonard in WI

Dear Leonard, You don't mention that the kids are complaining. It looks like this arrangement is working well for everyone but you. Unless you had an agreement about this with her that she is not honoring it seems you have little to complain about. Have a family conference and find a solution that will work well for the family. Having a snack or preparing your own meal should not be out of the question. Maybe they would like having dinner on your schedule if you prepared it. - 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 try to solve the problems of the world from the viewpoint of our own beliefs and our own way of thinking. We know what we "should expect" from other people, and what they "should expect" from us. What we often fail to realize is that everyone else is trying to do the same. They are trying to solve the problems of the world from their way of thinking. We all want peace and joy in the world. The problem is that we have different ideas of what that is and how to achieve it.

Unfortunately this thinking often carries over to our expectations of what is right or wrong in relationships between countries. We make judgments that they are wrong and must change their behavior. How would you feel if the positions were reversed? We do need some rules about what is right and wrong for all. However they should be created by common agreement, treaty, a world governing body, or some other way we can come to agreement. Dictating how others must act, when we "know" they are wrong only leads to trouble. To live in Peace we must build a path that all societies are willing to walk down.

As long as we look at others who are trying to achieve the same basic things out of life that we are as our enemies, we shall continue to have problems. When we look on others as enemies we think that imposing our way on them will solve our problems. When we look on them as friends we try to help them solve their problems. And they try to help us solve our problems. Let's quit choosing sides and become friends with the rest of the world!

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Our expectations can often get in the way of intimacy - especially when we're not forthcoming with our mate or when expectations clash. We need to let our mate know what our expectations are, find what their expectations are, and then come to some agreement about them. Preferably, we should do this before we enter into any permanent or long-term relationship.

Your mate's expectations will always be different than your own. To assume otherwise will only get you into trouble. Too often, we expect that our relationship will or should resemble how things were in our family or how "most couples" relate to each other in this society. We then become partners with someone expecting that they will think and act that way. But we have no right to expect that our perspective partner live up to our expectations, unless they agree to.

Anything you consider important in your relationship should be agreed to ahead of time by both of you. When things come up as your relationship progresses, they should be worked out mutually. We have no right to be angry just because our mate doesn't want to do things our way. Their idea of what is important and what they should contribute are just as important as ours are. Expecting them to conform to our notion of how a partner should be, when they haven't agreed to those expectations, and becoming angry when they don't live up to them, is unfair and unreasonable.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you want your relationship with your partner to be.

Tuesday: Think about the expectations you have for a relationship that might be different from a typical relationship.

Wednesday: Think about the things you would like your partner to contribute to the relationship.

Thursday: Think about the things you are willing to contribute to the relationship.

Friday: Think about the differences you may have with your mate or any perspective mate.

Saturday: Think about how you can work together to resolve differences.

Sunday: Picture yourself living in a perfect relationship with a loving mate.

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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