Dove with Branch
April 05, 2010 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 have been reading your newsletter for some time. I don't understand when you say we should trust someone when those close to you are always taking advantage of you. How can I be trusting of those who have hurt me? I try but they just take advantage of me. I am so tired of trying to forgive them even though they will never acknowledge how much they have hurt me. I just don't think trust is even possible. - Bart in NY

Dear Bart, Start by trusting in your Higher Power. Then trust in your own ability to deal with the problems that life presents you. Change the problem in your mind, from how people are treating you, to what is the best way to react in this situation. Realize that other people can't hurt you inside unless you let them. We want love and the only way we can get it is by giving it. So trust others and if they return the trust - wonderful! But don't require them to be trustworthy in return. They can't hurt you unless you expect something from them that they are unwilling to give. When we fail to offer trust we have eliminated the possibility of finding a positive solution. We must forgive for our own well being. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My brother has nicknamed his son "lazy bones." I think this is a terrible thing to do, and I have told him so. He tells me that it is none of my business. I tell him that Bill will feel inferior because this name will create a picture that he is a lazy kid. Kids have enough problems without their parents making it intentionally worse for them. My brother thinks it's funny. What can I tell my brother so he will realize that he is making things more difficult for his kid? - Jean in GA

Dear Jean, The nickname is not bad because you think it is bad. It is only bad if the child thinks it is bad. If he feels ashamed or depreciated by it then it shouldn't be used because he will believe it is true, or that others are mean to him. If he likes it, or really appreciates the humor, then it can be okay. Most children do not have sufficient self-esteem to see it as positive or funny. If your nephew is one of those lucky children then okay. But if he is not - and I expect he is not - then pass this answer on to him to consider. Your brother may well be abusing his child just for his own humor. - 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

It seems that when we perceive that our government is doing something wrong we start a resistance movement to stop it. Probably the most notable at this time is the war in Afghanistan. We are marching frequently to try to create pressure to bring the troops home. We don't like what is going on and we want it to stop so we "fight" to end the war. Our solution when we don't like what is going on is just to put up resistance until change is made.

The problem with resistance is that it works to stop the harmful conduct without offering a positive solution to the problem. If we want to have peace and stop wars not only must we stop wars, we must also discover a way to live in peace. If we focus on creating peace, then not only can we find a way for the war to end, but we can also create conditions so that future wars are unnecessary. We must change the thinking that causes us to use war as a way to resolve conflict, before we will stop using war as a way to have our way in the world.

When Mother Teresa was asked to march against war she refused saying, "call me when you are marching for peace." We admire her thinking and her way of being. Let's recognize the value of her thinking. We will quit using war as a tool to settle disputes when we recognize that there are better ways to settle our differences. Why squander our lives and our resources when there are better solutions available to us? Let's no longer use war as a tool of diplomacy to solve our problems. We can instead use some form of mediation to solve our problems and end up friends with our relationships and resources still in tact. We can and should make war only our tool of last resort for self-protection.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We use anger in disciplining our children because we become upset by what they do, and we then become angry at the situation and often the child. We then tend to mix our anger in with the lessons we are trying to teach the child. But when we mix the "lesson" with our anger, we end up teaching our child that it is okay to respond with anger to things that upset us. When we respond with anger, the child learns anger.

As parents we often don't even realize that we are using anger. The first step in dealing with your own anger as a parent is to become aware of how you feel when you relate to your children, especially to their mistakes or when they are not following the rules. When we respond out of love, the child learns love. If we are free of anger, we teach our children love, not anger. We give them a life of positive love-based emotions. Just knowing that you can raise your child without anger should be reason enough for you to put forth the effort to get rid of your own anger.

Learn to talk about feelings with your children. Find out what upsets them and why. Find out why they feel the way they do. Work with them to solve their problems and to release their anger. Even though their friends display anger, they can learn from you that they don't need to use it themselves. Teach them that they can be far more effective, and accomplish more as a person if they are not controlled by fear and anger. Teach them how not to have fear and anger. You may need to learn this lesson for yourself before you can teach it to your children.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about your love for your children.

Tuesday: Think about the life values you believe are important for your children to learn.

Wednesday: Think about the effect fear and anger have on your children's lives.

Thursday: Think about the times you get angry with your children.

Friday: Think about the times you use anger or fear to control your children.

Saturday: Remember that you must be what you want your children to become.

Sunday: Think about the changes you must make in your parenting for your children to become joyful adults.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of Life Without Anger 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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I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to drdean@lifewithoutanger.com

 

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