Dove with Branch
August 02, 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, Regarding the lady who didn't want to disclose her age; she has a perfect right to keep it private. It is none of anyone else's business. She has a right to be angry because her age is a private matter. - Marsha in VA

Dear Marsha, Of course she has a right to be angry! We all have a right to be angry at whatever we want. But I find being angry is not very much fun. I would like my life to be enjoyable so I do not choose anger, especially when more pleasant options are readily available. When we get angry at what others have a legal right to do, we make life less fun unnecessarily. - the Dean

Dear Dean, This regards the lady whose friend constantly criticizes her clothes. A loved one or a friend who is so concerned with what they think is right that they try to impose their thoughts on other people by critiquing their clothes, their parenting skills, their housework or whatever is not helpful. She just needs to let her friend know that she is uncomfortable with the way she dresses. A true friend would get the message. If the problem remains you just have to realize your friend has the problem not you. The friend is focusing more on her values than on your friendship. - Rhonda in AZ

Dear Rhonda, You are absolutely right that we should tell our friend exactly how we feel. However it is important to learn not to be insulted by what other people say, even if they are your friends. We cannot control what other people feel and say, but we can control how we feel about what they say. Being insulted is unnecessarily making our selves a victim to what the other person says. If I am upset, then I am the one with the problem. I believe we are better off knowing how others feel than to not know. We can learn to be secure in our beliefs regardless of another's opinion. Differences are what make life beautiful; if we can learn to accept and enjoy them. - 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

We often have a very definite opinion about what is right and what is wrong and exactly how others should act. When others don't do it the way we think is right, we get angry and think they should be punished.

Take the law shielding confidential information for reporters, for example. We can make a very good argument why their information should be protected; and we can also make a very good argument for why it should not. Society needs to consider those arguments carefully, and develop a rule that will best serve in this situation - one that considers both points of view and is in line with our underlying social principles..

Instead of just deciding what we think is right and then fighting to make that the law, we would be better served spending our energy looking for solutions that will be best for our society as a whole. When we have differences of opinion and want to live in peace with each other, we need to respect the other's point of view and search for common ground. When I read letters to the editor, blogs, and tweets about the political news I am amazed at how much disrespect is displayed for people with opposing points of view. My way or the highway is not the best answer if we want to live at peace with each other.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Our expectations can often get in the way of intimacy - especially when we are not forthcoming with our mate, or when expectations clash. We need to let our mate know what our expectations are, find out what their expectations are, and then come to some agreement about them. Preferably, we should do this before we enter into any permanent or long-term relationship.

Your mate's expectations will always be different than yours. To assume otherwise will only get you into trouble. Too often we expect that our relationship will or should resemble how things were in our own family, or how "most couples" relate to each other in this society. We then become partners with someone expecting that they will think and act that way. But we have no right to expect that our prospective partner live up to our expectations, unless they agree to. Just because they have agreed to enter into a relationship with you does not mean that they have agreed to do the cooking or the car repairs, or anything else that you may consider customary and expect from them.

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.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about what your expectations are for you mate, or your prospective mate.

Tuesday: Determine what your mate's or prospective mate's expectations for you are.

Wednesday: Think about the expectations your mate has, or is likely to have, that are different than your own.

Thursday: Determine what possible resolutions of your disagreements that your mate finds most attractive.

Friday: Think about the possible ways you will be able to meet each other's expectations.

Saturday: Resolve that any time you and your mate disagree that you will work together to find a solution that is satisfactory for both of you.

Sunday: When you feel upset with your mate remember what first attracted you to about them.

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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web: lifewithoutanger.com

 

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