Dove with Branch
January 31, 2011 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 good friend who will come over to visit and while we are talking promise to help me on some project I talk about. We make a date for him to come over and help but he almost never shows up. Just last weekend he promised he would come over and help me repair a fence and he never came or called. The next time I saw him he never even mentioned it, let alone say he was sorry. What can I do to get him to keep his promises? - Bernie in WA

Dear Bernie, You might ask him if he would like a reminder call. Perhaps that morning, or when you are about ready to start. He has developed this behavior pattern that he has apparently chosen to do nothing about. If you reject him perhaps he will care enough to change, but don't count on it. If you want to keep the relationship the thing you must learn is to expect that kind of behavior as normal for him, and not be upset by unrealized expectations based on his promises. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My wife has told me that I must quit shouting at her when I get upset or she is going to leave me. She makes a lot of mistakes and doesn't seem to care about correcting them. I was taught that when someone makes a mistake they must do what they can to correct it. I don't shout at her because she makes mistakes, I shout at her because she doesn't fix them the way she should. What do you suggest? - Ken in ID

Dear Ken, Your expectations of your wife don't match her way of looking at the world. She has a habit of not doing things the way you want them done and you have a habit of being upset when she doesn't. You have a habit that causes you to believe she should do it your way. The way you respond is just a belief and a habit you have. Your belief is not serving you well. If you want to keep the relationship, you need to learn to respond differently. If you can't do it on your own I suggest a counselor, or my book "Relationships Without Anger." - 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

The time of the Vietnam War was a time of many protest movements against the war. The cold war was a time of ban the bomb movements. The thing most of these movements had in common was that they were resistance movements against what was going on. The people who were involved were called activists. An activist thus became someone who didn't like what was happening and was fighting for change in the status quo.

I see a different thing appearing more often in the peace movement today. Many of those who are working for peace are working only for positive change. While they are often called activists they are not resisting what is happening. They are just teaching about changing the consciousness of our society so that we choose a nonviolent resolution to our conflicts. Resolution of the conflict becomes more important to them than retribution for the "wrong."

I look at this as a truly positive change in our social outlook. Peaceful resolution to problems is possible. And it produces a happier, less stressed society with more of its energy and resources dedicated to the enjoyment of life, than to the protection of life. War is wasteful and no longer necessary, once we are willing to give up being the "boss of who does what."

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Perception and recognition is the way we have of evaluating the information than comes to us through our five senses and includes the specific way that we interpret that information. Each of us sees life from our own frame of reference. Our differing perceptions are often the source of conflict and anger. If we understand and choose to accept our differences however, our dissimilar perceptions can become a source of wisdom, joy, and humor in our lives.

We tend to perceive information in a way that supports the beliefs we have. First we take note of the information presented to us that validates our belief systems, and we often fail to notice things that do not. Next, we interpret the information that we receive in a way that is consistent with our existing belief system.

What if this wasn't necessarily the case? What if we considered the information in the light of differing belief systems? And what if we always looked at things from a number of points of view before making a decision? In order to win a trial lawyers are trained to carefully examine the other possible points of view. If they do not, they will not be prepared to respond with the best argument for their case. Likewise, you can learn to examine the information you receive from the points of view of all possibilities.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I appreciate the diversity in humankind.

Tuesday: Today I say only good things.

Wednesday: Today I say "I love you."

Thursday: Today I take time to breathe deeply.

Friday: Today I practice forgiveness.

Saturday: Today I am forgiveness in action.

Sunday: Today I take myself lightly.

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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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

 

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