Dove with Branch
November 23, 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 am a junior in high school and I want to get a tattoo but my parents won't let me. My friends all have tattoos. Some have several large visible ones. Multiple tattoos on arms and shoulders are common. I just want a small one on my shoulder. How can I get my parents to agree, or should I just get it anyway? What can they do about it anyway? - Vonda in NJ

Dear Vonda, What they can do about it anyway is not the point. Your parent's job is to create a belief system for your life, and unless it is illegal it is your responsibility to learn it. It is reasonable to be required to live by your parents' values unless they are illegal or unhealthy. When you leave home you are free to reject them, but not yet. Think carefully about why you want to get a tattoo then state you case and accept their decision. Until you become an adult think of yourself as a person in training. You can work on which rules you want to keep as an adult and be ready to take control of your life at that point. - the Dean

Dear Dean, Our house is falling apart! My husband is a capable carpenter and can fix things when they break. The problem is he works long hours to make enough money and says he needs his time on the weekend to rest. We don't have enough money to hire someone but the work needs to be done and he won't do it. what do you suggest? - Alice in TX

Dear Alice, I suggest you find a way to get your husband interested in doing the work. Maybe an offer to fix his favorite dessert will help. If he is not up to it and you want it done then find a way to get someone to do it, find a way to save the money, learn how to make the repairs, or wait until your husband is ready to do it. It may be temping to browbeat and/or punish him in some way but those tactics create more problems than they solve, even if they do get the house fixed. -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

As individuals we always make choices according to our beliefs. If we believe that the world is a dangerous place, and that everyone is out to get us, then we act accordingly. And the world will respond accordingly. Things will always end up being the way we think they are - just because we think they are that way. When we don't believe that we can have the things we want, then we won't have them. When we think this way we create for ourselves an un-enjoyable life.

Most of us want to have peace in our life; and in the world as well. The problem is we see a world where others want to take advantage of us or rule over us. They see the world in the same way. As a result we end up distrusting the motives of others and believe we have to defend ourselves from them. Most people want to be loved but don't act loving! All we have to do to have a peaceful world is to believe and act as if that is what everyone wants.

When someone does a bad thing to another, what we really want is that they never do such a thing again. If we search together for a new way of responding we can solve this problem. When we believe that they must be punished for their act; and respond accordingly; they take it as an act of aggression, and vow to continue the fight. When they learn to trust our peaceful motives they will respond with trust and we can then solve our differences in a loving way.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

In dealing with others, the best rule is to start from a place of trust, realizing and accepting that you could be wrong. People tend to respond to you in the same way you act. You will receive far more trust if you offer trust. If you offer distrust; that is what you will usually get back.

In dealing with problems that need positive responses, we are more effective (and feel better) being assertive instead of aggressive. When we respond from our thinking, we choose a thought out response rather than an emotional one. We can be assertive and accomplish what we feel we must, without being angry. It is much easier to be assertive rather than aggressive if we have not set up some expectations that upset us when they are not met.

We need to learn to not let our peace of mind become dependent on what another person does. Except for adhering to the laws set down by our society, we have no right to expect that anyone act in a certain way, just as they have no right to require that from us.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I trust other people as being naturally truthful and caring.

Tuesday: I realize that if I trust other people I give them the opportunity to trust me.

Wednesday: I realize that good comes from trust.

Thursday: I realize that I can explain what I want others to do without being angry.

Friday: I choose to think before I respond.

Saturday: I realize that I do not have the right to control other people.

Sunday: I recognize that others have the right to reject my requests.

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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