Dove with Branch
January 17, 2011 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Insights From the Dean of Peace
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My wife often has to work late and sometimes goes on business trips where she works and socializes with men. This kind of situation is dangerous for our marriage and I have asked her not to do this. I have even told her that she must give up the job if she wants to save our marriage, but she says I must learn to trust her. I don't want to end the marriage but I am unable to accept this situation, what should I do? - Ralph in MD

Dear Ralph, Unless you really don't have enough trust to accept her as she is, telling her it was a condition of marriage is not conducive to a good relationship. A loving relationship is based on love; and love is founded in trust. Why would you want her if she wants someone else? If you want a loving relationship you must accept and trust her. Not trusting her may well result in her not being trustworthy. Decide whether you want a partner you can trust or one you can control. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My brother is always making a mess of his life. He uses drugs, drinks, can't hold a job and has lost four wives. Every time he gets in a mess he comes to me to bail him out. I feel like bailing him out is really not helping, but how do I stop doing that? I can't make him live on the street. - Vera in CA

Dear Vera, The answer is to give love and emotional support always and think carefully about the other support you give. Ask yourself if you are being caring or enabling? Sometimes this is a very difficult question. If you are having difficulty with this issue talk to someone outside the problem. If you need a place to seek help look up Co-Dependants Anonymous or Al-Anon. You are facing the same problems as someone who has an alcoholic in their life. Learn not to feel guilty for problems that you have no responsibility for. - 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 have many social problems that are causing us difficulty. We continue to have problems with crime, drug abuse, and access to medical care just to name a few. These problems seem to be ongoing. We have set up systems to take care of the problems once they occur. We punish for crime and drug offenses. We can get treatment for medical problems at hospital emergency rooms even if we don't have the means. Our traditional response has been to punish crimes and to only provide free medical treatment in emergency conditions.

Studies and experiments on using preventative measures such as access to care and education about social problems consistantly show at least a three to one cost benefit ratio. We still seem wed to the idea of punishment rather than treatment. If we have a negative event occur our primary concern should be that it will not happen again, rather than someone must pay for this wrong!

If instead we shift our way of thinking so that the emphasis is on creating good physical and mental health, then we will prevent most of the problems we are constantly struggling to resolve. We will become more effective in resolving these problems, and at far less cost. This will also result in a greater quality of life for all of us as we will feel much better and at the same time free up more of our resources to use for the enjoyment of life. For example, when we shift from using war as a way of conflict resolution we will have forty percent more of our production capacity available for things that will enhance our quality of life.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Train yourself to be a good listener by learning how to "listen deeply." To do this you must put your own thoughts and beliefs aside, and really focus on what the other person is saying.

Unfortunately, most conversations can be characterized as "my stuff/your stuff." They can be likened to a strange game of tennis - played with two separate balls. You serve your ball to me. I let it pass and serve my ball back to you. You let it pass and serve your ball back to me. The game continues this way - with neither player receiving the other person's ball. In such an instance, it obviously isn't a game at all. And in a conversation with the same characteristics, it's not really a conversation at all. You want to tell your story and I want to tell mine. We never hear the other person's story because we are too busy telling our own. How many conversations have you had lately that went that way?

We can diffuse another person's anger simply by putting an end to the "my stuff/your stuff" game and truly listening to that person. Interestingly, very often when you give the angry person the courtesy of politely listening to what they have to say, without interrupting them or retaliating in anger, their anger is reduced.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Pay attention to how you listen when others talk.

Tuesday: Learn to think only about what the other person is saying without thinking of how it relates to your life.

Wednesday: Learn to answer the other person fully before you relate any story of your own.

Thursday: Pay attention to what the other person is feeling when they talk.

Friday: Be patient and do not interrupt the other person while they are talking.

Saturday: Learn to ask questions that help you understand what the other person is saying and feeling.

Sunday: Address the other person's concerns before you raise any of your own.

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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If you know someone who might be interested in using any, or all of my regular newspaper columns please pass this information on to them. Or send me their e-mail address, or telephone number, and I will be happy to send them the information.

Past issues of this newsletter are archived on my website.

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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