Dove with Branch
February, 20, 2012 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 daughter has married and moved to another state. The only contact I have is Christmas and birthday cards. I ask her to call but she doesn't. I miss her very much. What do you suggest? - Sylvia in MD

Dear Sylvia, The lessons she learned growing up apparently did not include keeping in close touch with her mother. Perhaps this is because you taught her to be independent. Now is the time to give her whatever love she will accept, and appreciate the person you have taught her to become. You can try to find a positive way to be in her life, but do not offer beyond what she is willing to accept. Perhaps unfortunately, our society does not include an obligation to care about our parents. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I make collages and like to hang them on my walls. My husband says that he does not like collages and refuses to allow them to be displayed in the home. We seem to be OK with everything else. He says that some of my pictures include old boyfriends and he doesn't want to be reminded of them. I have no love attachment to old boyfriends but I like be reminded of my fond memories which sometimes include them. Should I put away the old collages or replace some pictures just to make him happy? - Lidia in NJ

Dear Lidia, Yes, no, and maybe. It isn't necessary to eliminate your collages just because of his problem and he needs to work on getting over his jealousy. To have a successful marriage he needs to learn to trust. On the other hand a little compassion may be in order. Perhaps a compromise, such as putting the old pictures away and creating new ones might be helpful if he agrees to work on his problem in return. Neither of you are perfect. Helping each other to get better is part of a good relationship. - 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 developed a habit of pursuing politics of self-interest. We fight to elect politicians and create laws that are favorable to ourselves, and the groups we belong to, regardless of the cost to others. If a politician from the party we support violates the law we overlook it. If a politician we oppose violates the law, we want to throw the book at him. When we do this we are no longer able to maintain a fair and just society.

This kind of situational ethics is not a positive way to run a democracy. The basic concept of a democracy requires that we work together for the common good. We are substituting the basic idea of having a government that supports everyone, for a government that promotes our own personal interest. We think the end justifies the means. Our personal self-interest as we see it becomes the good.

In the long run we are not well served by promoting only our self-interest. This will result in a society that is stressful and in constant turmoil. We can't be peaceful unless we are fully considerate of the needs of others. Power and greed may lead to wealth but they don't lead to peace.

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."

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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

 

Contact Information

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