Dove with Branch
January 19, 2009 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 had the problem of my two children fighting with each other. What worked for me was to explain the problem to them, and ask them to find a solution or suffer reasonable consequences. It was up to them to find a solution. I was only available as a consultant, and to offer support. They only paid the consequences a couple of times before they got serious about finding a solution. They learned to discuss their common problem and find a solution, and they ended up loving each other. - Charlotte in VA

Dear Charlotte, Wonderful!! This is a great application of the principle of teaching responsibility with love. When we teach our children to find positive solutions to their problems we create a harmonious family environment. At the same time, we are teaching them the tools they need to create a successful and happy life for themselves and those around them. - the Dean

Dear Dean, In a prior column you wrote about a niece staying in her aunt's home while going to college, but not helping as agreed. I have the same problem with my own daughter. What do you suggest? - Sally in TX

Dear Sally, Your daughter's behavior has become a problem for you because you allowed it to happen. Taking corrective action is always much more difficult than preventing the problem. To change her behavior your daughter must experience defined consequences when she fails to comply. Decide what the consequences would be. Explain them to her. Then enforce them evenly and with love. Be open to consider each circumstance on its merits but don't modify consequences without valid and understood reasons. - 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

In order to become a peaceful society we must learn how to be peaceful. We learn this mostly through our education as we are growing up. We learn it from our parents, our teachers and others in our society. Before we can become peaceful we must learn peaceful ways of thinking. We need to give up such things as being upset because others have inconvenienced us or want to do things differently. This comes from our education. Our lives out-picture the beliefs taught to us by our society. We build, and use, war machines because we believe they are necessary.

We spend approximately ten times the money on national defense that we spend on education. Because we have not learned peace, we spend much of our resources protecting ourselves. One answer is to spend more money on machines of war to protect us. A better answer, I believe, is to develop and teach the concepts that will produce peace, and reduce our defense budget down to the size of our education budget.

Is this reasonable? I think so. The U.S. and its Allies spend about three times as much on defense as the rest of the world. Most of our military spending is caused because we disagree with what others are doing, not because they are attacking us. We have ample opportunity to find more peaceful solutions when we start desiring them.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can accept disagreement without being disagreeable in return. We don't have to require that we be treated well. We can accept the way other people treat us, in the sense that we don't get upset about it. We can assert our boundaries and refuse to accept the other person's position, without getting angry or upset. If we believe in our self and our own truths, then we can let the other person have their own truths, and just refuse to be affected by them.

Do we want to be happy, or do we want to be right? Whenever we are attached to being right, we are convinced the other person is wrong and we are right. As long as we cannot accept the idea that maybe they are also right, or at least realize that it just doesn't matter, we can't be free of our negative emotions or experience happiness and peace of mind. The more we accept the other person's reality as being authentic, the less upset we become.

As we become more accepting, we stop demanding that things go a certain way. It is part of our nature to want to give and receive love. When we demand things be a certain way, we are not giving love, and we seldom receive love in return when we don't give it. We get even less love when we give anger in return.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I allow others to have their beliefs.

Tuesday: Today I take time to relax and enjoy.

Wednesday: Today I am grateful for peacemakers..

Thursday: Today I do the work that is mine to do with a glad heart.

Friday: Today I take time to do a kind deed.

Saturday: Today I tell a co-worker something about them that I appreciate.

Sunday: Today I focus on the positive.

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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