Dove with Branch
August 17, 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, Our 18 year old son just graduated from high school. We will pay his tuition at the local college and he can live at home with us. He wants to take a year off and travel around the country before he goes to college. We have forbidden him to do so and have told him we will not pay for his college or let him live at home if he does. Do you think that is the right thing to do? - Carlton in CA

Dear Carlton, He has a right to make his own choices. You have no obligation to support his trip or to pay for his college afterward but traveling and being on his own can be a good learning experience. He should make and learn from his own choices even if they seem wrong to you. Punishing or trying to control him by withholding support for education that you are otherwise willing to support is not helpful for his growth. It may seem the best to you but probably will not be for your son. - the Dean

Dear Dean, Our daughter has just graduated from high school and we want her to go on to college and are willing to pay her tuition. Instead she wants to go to trade school to become an electrician. We think she is capable of being much more than an electrician. How can we encourage her to go on to college so that she will make a good choice? - Jenny in GA

Dear Jenny, How can he be more than an electrician? One profession is not better than the other. Her choice may be different than yours. But that is part of the freedom that creates our society. Do you want your child to be her person or your person? Not that it matters but electricians make more than the average college graduate these days. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit www.DeanOfPeace.com. to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

We have many social problems that are causing us difficulty. We continue to have problems with crime, drug abuse, and access to medical care just to name a few. These problems seem to be ongoing. We have set up systems to take care of the problems once they occur. We punish for crime and drug offenses. We can get treatment for medical problems at hospital emergency rooms even if we don't have the means. Our traditional response has been to punish crimes and to only provide free medical treatment in emergency conditions.

All studies and experiments on using preventative measures such as access to care and education about social problems have shown at least a three to one cost benefit ratio. We still seem wed to the idea of punishment rather than treatment. If we have a negative event occur our primary concern should be that it will not happen again, rather than someone must pay for this wrong!

If instead we shift our way of thinking so that the emphasis is on creating good physical and mental health, then we will prevent most of the problems we are constantly struggling to resolve. We will become more effective in resolving these problems, and at far less cost. This will also result in a greater quality of life for all of us as we will feel much better and at the same time free up more of our resources to use for the enjoyment of life. For example, when we shift from using war as a way of conflict resolution we will have forty percent more of our production capacity available for things that will enhance our quality of life.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Unfortunately, we often relate to each other as if we are to be constantly judged. We think it is important to decide who is wrong and who is right. We think we need to be right. And if we are wrong, then we think we should suffer and be punished somehow. If there is guilt, then we think there must be blame. We try to control someone else's behavior by placing blame upon them. Most of the time, we don't even realize that we are doing this. But if we are practicing guilt and blame, we see the other person as threatening us, so we attack them.

Because of their insecurities many people can be controlled by the power you create by placing blame. You may gain control, but do not expect a positive relationship to result unless you can actually find someone who enjoys other people having the power. Positive people do not place blame. They don't blame circumstances, they don't blame other people, and they don't blame themselves.

Blaming always leaves us with resentment and other negative feelings. Only by not placing blame can we be in control of our own fate. Unfortunately our legal system has adopted the concept of negligence, which is simply placing blame for mistakes. We buy into this concept of blaming others for all of the bad things that happen to us. We have learned to believe we should be compensated any time a bad thing happens to us because that is our society's way of thinking. When we do this we inadvertently accept victim-hood and incorporate it into our belief system.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I realize that my life is not controlled by what other people think of me.

Tuesday: If I make an honest mistake I do not feel shame.

Wednesday: I do not need to control what other people do.

Thursday: I do not blame others for their honest mistakes.

Friday: I do not try to control others by making them ashamed.

Saturday: Others are not obligated to me simply because they made an honest mistake.

Sunday: I give up the need to always be right.

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
 

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I will be conducting workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops will provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook "Emotional Intelligence - Taking Control of Your Life."

I have taken on the task of supporting the teaching of emotional skills training in the educational system with the trust and hope, that many in your community will be able to share in the vision of this great work, and join us in this amazing project. We are promoting a "Sponsor a School" program to raise awareness and support throughout the U.S. & Canada If you have any interest in the program and/or having a workshop in your area. Contact me for additional information.

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