Dove with Branch
March 19, 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, I am a young grandmother. Cindy has been my best friend since fourth grade. We have gone out to dinner every Friday night since we graduated from high school. Nothing has changed except that she has new friends and she wants to join their Friday night bowling league. She wants to have lunch on Thursdays instead. I am free then but I don't think I should have to give up my Friday dinner as our friendship has priority and seniority. - Mollie in IL

Dear Mollie, Even though humans are social people all of our adult relationships should be voluntary. If someone wants a relationship to be a certain way they should be free to be that way (within the law). We can't control what others do. When we demand them to be a certain way we just set ourselves up for disappointment. Your choice is to accept the changes. Come up with an alternative that works, or end the relationship. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My daughter has married a man who doesn't provide for their family. He is unable to hold a job. She works full time and still has to do all the housework. My daughter does everything and never complains. I no longer want this no-good in my home but my daughter won't come if he is not invited. What should I do about this? - Darla in CA

Dear Darla, Invite the whole family to your home on appropriate occasions. Visit your daughter (and the children) at her home and elsewhere when you can. If your daughter loves this man you must accept him to continue a loving relationship with your daughter. You do not have to love him but accept him as what he is; the man your daughter loves. Allow your daughter to make her own choices and accept them. If she is happy with her choice don't try to make her unhappy. - 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

In order to become a peaceful society we must learn how to be peaceful. We learn this mostly through our education as we are growing up. We learn it from our parents, our teachers and others in our society. Before we can become peaceful we must learn peaceful ways of thinking. We need to give up such things as our upset because others have inconvenienced us or want to do things differently. This comes from our education.

We spend approximately ten times the money on national defense that we spend on education. Because we have not learned peace, we spend much of our resources protecting ourselves. One answer is to spend more money on education. A better answer, I believe, is to develop and teach the concepts that will produce peace, and reduce our defense budget down to the size of our education budget.

Is this reasonable? I think so. The U.S. and its Allies spend about three times as much on "defense" as the rest of the world. Most of our military spending is caused because we disagree with what others are doing, not because they are attacking us. We have ample opportunity to find more peaceful solutions when we become willing to accept that things must not always go just the way we want them to.

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 this 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 preference.

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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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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