Dove with Branch
May 03, 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, My husband is always complaining about the clothes I wear. He is always telling me to wear something more appropriate. I like to wear prints and slacks. He thinks women should wear dresses or skirts without prints of bright colors. Should I wear the clothes he likes? - Shelly in MN

Dear Shelly, Only if you want to! He wants you to dress differently and it is okay for him to let you know that. However, you are the one who gets to choose your clothing. Consider how you want your life to be, including your relationship, and make a choice. What he thinks is only one of the factors you should consider. Ask yourself if you are doing this because it is what you want for yourself. If the answer is yes, then continue to wear what you have always worn. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My wife doesn't like to cook. I would like a nice dinner after a long day. When I get home I need a warm meal but I seldom get it. She is always busy with the children or has been to some gabfest with the girls and is tired. How can I get her to prepare a decent meal? - Dick in CA

Dear Dick, Perhaps you can't. It is not her job to prepare a hot meal for you unless she has agreed that it is her job. Did she agree to be the cook, or do you just expect it because that is what women do? If she agreed to it, find out how you can be supportive. If she didn't agree to be the cook then find out how you can have a hot meal; or eat a cold one. This is obviously a part of the relationship that is causing a problem. Perhaps it is as simple as your wife resenting you being the boss. It is way past time to sit down together and find a solution that will fulfill the desires of both of you. - the Dean

 

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

Our government's purpose is to provide for the greater good of our society as a whole. We often notice but tend to tolerate what we call "pork" spending whereby some of our more influential legislatures obtain funding for special projects in their district that seems out of proportion cost wise to the needs of the whole country. This is a concern we should pay more attention to and find a way to reduce the abuses.

A related problem that we fail to notice is that we tend to look at the benefits we will receive from a project and fail to notice the cost. When we put in a new "road to nowhere" we fail to notice how much benefit we get from it considering the cost to build it. We start projects with federal funding because the money is available rather than based on the merit of the project. If we wouldn't spend our own money to do it, why should we do it just because the federal government is going to pay?

If we have an attitude that we should get as much of the federal funds as possible then we become like the child who runs up debt on the family credit card without worrying because mom and dad will pay the bill. When we learn to care about our neighbors we will become more concerned about their having to pay for our extravagances. Society works better when we share than it does when we try just to "get what we can."

 

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.

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.

By learning not to judge others, we learn to accept ourselves. As long as we condemn others for their mistakes, we will not be able to fully accept our own. We will be angry with ourselves because we are not living up to our own judgment of how we should be.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
    Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you judge other people.

Tuesday: Think about how you blame other people for their mistakes.

Wednesday: Think about how you use blame to control other people's actions.

Thursday: Think about how you feel when others blame you.

Friday: Resolve to accept the different opinions of others as appropriate for them.

Saturday: Resolve not to blame others for honest mistakes.

Sunday: Resolve to accept other people as they are without judgment.

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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