Dove with Branch
April 12, 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 a friend that always criticizes my make-up. I tell her that I don't like to be criticized, but she says "I am just trying to be helpful." I don't think that friends should criticize each other. What do you think? - Jade in CA

Dear Jade, I think that you think friends shouldn't criticize each other - and that you look at her giving her opinion of how you look as criticism. If what someone thinks of you is of no value or hurtful to you then you will want to avoid them - or get over it. Many think it is really great to have someone they can trust to give them an honest opinion. If I had a friend who was doing this to be helpful I would appreciate it very much. If what they said upset me, then I would try to examine and change how I feel about it. Friends sometimes bring out our insecurities. If they are doing it in a loving way then we can be thankful. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My daughter-in-law won't invite me to her home or not even take calls from me. I have never seen my grandchildren because she won't allow my son to bring them to my home. My son has chosen to abide by her wishes even though I know it hurts him very much. She wont allow him to call or write. She won't even let me know what I have done to upset her. What can I do to make her let me see my grandchildren? - Brenda in TX

Dear Brenda, If she refuses to talk to you and you are unable to talk to your son as well, then gracious acceptance of the situation is probably your best bet in the long run. Perhaps time will change things. Have great compassion for your son and do not make things more difficult for him. For whatever reason, he has chosen to abide by his wife's wishes. It was most likely not an easy choice for him. Try not to add to his suffering by showing your pain to him. Being understanding would be a great gift to him. - 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

If we kill someone we are guilty of murder. If we kill ten people we are a serial killer. If we kill thirty-three people we are guilty of a horrendous crime. The leaders of the world all recognize this and still when it comes to the greatest crime of all - waging war on another country - they praise it as a necessary tool to achieve our objectives. They even do it just to create democracy in another country.

Until now, perhaps no other path was possible because we had not yet developed a sufficient amount of peace in our individual hearts to be able to experience peace in the world. Remember, no matter how much we think we might want something we are still going to out-picture the kind of world that we feel on the inside. The answer to our problem will not appear until we have sufficient awareness to understand it. The answer is already there, we just haven't seen it yet.

Perhaps we still need to recognize the right of self-defense, but that does not include the right to use war to achieve our political aims. It is time we give up the need to have it our way and accept the role of the world court and world government as a means of settling our differences with other nations, just as the individual states in our nation look to the federal government. This system has worked well for us. It could work for the whole world.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to make ourselves the victim of our own thinking. We grow up expecting certain things out of life, and when those things dont happen, we feel cheated. When something bad happens we tend to say, "What did I ever do to deserve this?" We find it difficult just to accept what happens because we get tied up in our own expectations and attachments. We put ourselves in the victim role whenever we deny that the feeling of being a victim actually originates in our own mind, and that it is just the choice we have made about how we look at what happened.

If you find yourself thinking in terms of "How can I possibly cope with this awful situation?" you are admitting that you are a victim. Thinking about how you can just get by is victim thinking. Instead we need to think in terms of, "am in control here." "I am the boss of my life." Until you take over the control of your life in every way, you are making yourself a victim. "Taking control," means that you are the one who makes choices about your own life based on your independent needs and thinking. It means that you are not making your choices based on what someone, or everyone, is telling you that you must or must not do.

Refuse to become the victim of your own beliefs. Whenever you discover that you have beliefs that depreciate or upset you, don't allow them to remain. Examine them and make the necessary changes to align your beliefs with your truths.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things that others in you family do to take advantage of you.

Tuesday: Think about the things that others in you family do to take advantage of you.

Wednesday: Think about the ways you are mistreated at work.

Thursday: Develop new ways of responding so that you will no longer be mistreated at work.

Friday: Think about how your friends and others in the community take advantage of you.

Saturday: Develop new ways of responding so that you will no longer be mistreated by others.

Sunday: Resolve to change any beliefs that allow you to be a victim.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of Life Without Angerand many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Information
 

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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