Dove with Branch
September 07, 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, My son is unruly and frequently challenges my authority. I end up getting so upset at him that I scream at him and have even slapped him on a couple of occasions. I am ashamed of myself. How can I stop this behavior? - Monica in IL

Dear Monica, You and your son have both learned strategies of responding that are not effective, and are even self-defeating. It seems impossible to stop because they have become an automatic response pattern that just happens whenever you are "provoked." Just like when you buy a new car with different controls or get a new computer operating system you can learn a new response pattern. This is a serious problem. If you can't do it on your own or with the help of my book I suggest you seek counseling. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My sister and I have fought for years. We are very different and we find it hard to see each other's point of view. We are in our thirties and still don't talk to each other. I would like to put this behind us and become friends with her. Where do I start? - Barbara in MA

Dear Barbara, You can start by accepting her as perfect just the way she is. Learn to think that it is okay for you that she has different beliefs and goals in life than you do. The next thing is to tell her that you have come to understand and are truly sorry for the way you have acted toward her. Next find time to show her that you care by visiting and being friendly whenever the opportunity arises. Do not beg forgiveness or push for togetherness. It will happen when she sees that things have truly changed. - 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

Gradually those governments who want to take power over their own, or other people by force, are finding it more difficult to do so. This change to being governed only with our own informed consent comes gradually as our awareness as individuals increases. We must become aware enough to make choices, and elect only those who make decisions that are in our own enlightened self-interest. In order to have peace within our own society we have come more and more to realize that we ourselves must be peaceful. Only when we come from a place of peace will we be truly concerned about peace for other people. Only when we change our own personal way of being, to peaceful and joyful living, will we be able to create peace and joy in the world. The world will always be acting in a way that is an out-picturing of the general level of consciousness of the people.

Today we still worship and admire the rich and famous. When we do this we are giving our power to others. I often wonder if we make a great mistake in our society when we provide limousines for our leaders to ride around in. Doing so tends to devalue our own personal self-worth. When we set them above us in some way we are giving them power over us. When we take a closer look at the rich and famous we see that being rich and famous does not automatically give a person the sense of peace and well being that they seek. Being rich and famous does not of itself produce joy.

Those who have achieved the goals of riches and fame are often among those who are the most troubled and lead the least peaceful lives, especially when their riches and/or power were inherited or came without learning the necessary skills to manage and care for them. They often admit that their achievements have not brought them the peace and serenity they desire. As many of us have already learned, the answer to peace does not lie in riches or power but somewhere else.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Anything you consider important in your relationship should be discussed and agreed to ahead of time by both of you. When new things come up as your relationship progresses, they should be worked out mutually. You have no right to be upset just because your mate doesn't want to do things your way. Their ideas of what they expect and what they are willing to contribute are just as important as yours are. Expecting them to conform to your 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.

It is especially important to pay attention to these issues at the present time because our society is transforming its idea of how we look at the partnering relationship. Traditionally we looked at the relationship as the male provider and the female nurturer. This concept is changing to a new concept of equality where the lines between these roles are no longer clear. If you are expecting the old traditional relationship you need to find a prospective partner who is seeking that kind of relationship as well.

Since the present forms of relationship are still emerging and far more complex in most cases you will need to consider each others expectations. Be open to reaching compromises on many smaller issues before deciding to enter into a long term relationship. Starting out with commitment and then finding out whether it works or not tends to consume much more emotional energy than most of us would like to expend.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about and picture how I think a relationship should be.

Tuesday: Today I think about my partners or prospective partner's picture of how a relationship should be.

Wednesday: Today I think about the things that I believe are essential in a relationship.

Thursday: Today I think about the importance of explaining how our relationship should be to my partner.

Friday: Today I resolve to discuss and understand my prospective mate's point of view.

Saturday: Today I decide to resolve differences through negotiation and understanding.

Sunday: Today I resolve to understand my prospective mate's expectations and to resolve any difference before entering into a relationship.

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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