Dove with Branch
November 22, 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 family was close when I was young but we are drifting further and further apart. I try to support my family but they never seem to care about any problems but their own. How can I get them to help me when I have problems? - Ken in CA

Dear Ken, Perhaps you can't. They have no obligation to help you just as you have no obligation to help them. If they still feel loving toward you they will most likely help. They may not want your help, at least in the way you offer it. They may feel helpless to help you. If they are not supporting you in the way they do each other then you would do well to find out why they are treating you differently. Ask them in a nice way! If you are giving them support but expecting something in return then you are not "giving" them support. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have found a wonder restaurant that I go to often. The food and the service are both really great. They have other regular customer who also goes there. The problem I have is that they are loud and argumentative and often use inappropriate words. I have asked them to please be quiet but they ignore me. I have also asked the manager to speak to them but he never does. Do you have any suggestions? - Betty in WI

Dear Betty, Find another restaurant? You do have other options. You might let them know nicely that you (and perhaps others) are upset and ask if they could speak more quietly. You might let the manager know that you (and perhaps others) will be leaving if it continues. You could even take up a collection from the other regular diners to buy their meals elsewhere. You always have the options of choosing not to be disturbed by their behavior, or searching for a desirable lunch elsewhere - 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 humans have a great power of rationalization. We have the ability to see a particular event or set of facts in a way that supports our position. We find this of such great value that we even have debate teams in school where we learn and compete at this skill. We think that it is more important for our point of view to prevail than it is to determine the facts about something. The points that don't agree with our view we twist or ignore.

Why do we do this? I believe it is because we live in a world where power is more important than truth. He who has the power gets all the "goodies" regardless of the truth of the matter. That is the way we have created our society. Because of this, the power of persuasion is an important skill in our society. When we have this viewpoint, prevailing over others is more important than being at peace with others.

If we are going to create a peaceful world society, we must learn to replace this old way of thinking with a viewpoint that both searches for the truth and respects the viewpoint of others. When we are all trying to prevail over others, when we are not willing to accept less, there is no possibility of peace. Peace cannot be obtained through power! That is why so many of us think that peace is not possible. We can have peace when we are willing to accept not having it "our way" all of the time. Change our goal and we can find peace. As it is sometimes said, we need to shift from the love of power to the power of love.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

One way to reduce our susceptibility to anger is to be open to the possibility of other right answers for our self and for others. Just accepting the possibility that the answer may change if we have more information keeps us open to the idea that the judgment that we have made is only tentative, and always subject to change. When we view a judgment in this manner, we don't have a strong emotional investment in it. And we find it easier to make changes when we receive new information that is not in agreement with our present thinking. It also makes it much easier to recognize when new information is not in agreement with our judgment.

In this society we have learned to view differences as an attack. We have learned to marshal arguments to support our view of the truth. It is like we are debaters who are assigned a side and then defend it as our own truth. We tend to buy into our own story and the first thing we know it becomes our truth. If we can learn to give up the need to always have a truth then life becomes much easier for us.

Sometimes you must make a choice because you must determine an action NOW. Choose a response based on your best thinking, but don't place any emotional value on your choice. Don't take your truths too seriously. Always be looking for a better answer than the one you are acting on. When you see the possibility of a better choice, be open to changing your thinking. Rather than defending your original choice, see what you might learn by considering someone else's choice.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the idea that I don't know everything about anything.

Tuesday: I think about the idea that I could possibly be wrong about anything and everything.

Wednesday: I learn to be open for and to examine new information.

Thursday: I fully examine new information that is not in agreement with my opinion.

Friday: I learn not to take disagreement by others as an attack on myself.

Saturday: I always choose the best response available to me based on the information I have..

Sunday: I change my response whenever I see a better possibility.

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

 

Contact Information

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361
web: lifewithoutanger.com

 

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