Dove with Branch
September 10, 2012 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peacemaker,
 
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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I have a problem at work. People never pass along important information to me, even though it is important for me to know so that I can do my work properly. For example I need to know about our orders so I can determine how much material to buy. This upsets me and affects my performance. How can I get them to give me the correct figures? - Bill in OH

Dear Bill, Have a meeting and talk about it. Explain your need and learn about their problems. If you are not getting the right answers learn to interpolate. The most important thing is to not allow yourself to become upset by this problem. If it is out of your control accept it as something you need to become more skilled in working with. - the Dean

Dear Dean, The people I work with are very aggressive people. I am not aggressive and don't need to be since what I do in my job is primarily to support them. The problem is that they are always taking advantage of me. They ask me to do much of the work they should be doing, and then are rude if it's not done the way they think it should be done. If I suggest they should do it themselves they just get angry and complain that I am rude and lazy. How should I deal with this? - Selma in AZ

Dear Selma, Helping people is great if that is your job, or if you like doing that. If however it is upsetting you then you have the problem of dealing with the power issues of your fellow employees. Since this is extra work you have a choice of not doing it. If you like doing it then require that they appreciate and don't complain about it. Since you can choose not doing it don't feel you must, and don't be upset when someone asks - or when you tell them "sorry I can't help today" and they still complain. - 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

Contrary to all of the strife we have in the world, I get the feeling that peace is breaking out all over. I feel this way because of all the e-mail I am receiving from people telling me about their own personal peace projects and what other groups are doing; stories about churches and universities that are establishing peace centers. The common thread that runs through all of these is that they are positive centers for peace and are not established as resistance movements.

It looks as if we are really beginning to learn the lesson that we do not establish peace by fighting wars. Fighting against war is not peace. It is just another kind of war. We think that to fight for peace is justified because of the purpose, but it is still war! It is impossible to be peaceful when we are fighting for anything. If we are going to have peace the first thing we must learn is to stop fighting, even for good stuff like peace. The very fight itself produces a lack of peace.

When we have learned to be at peace with ourselves and those around us then we will be able to create peace in the world. As long as there is power in the belief we can impose our way on others or solve our differences through force we cannot be peaceful. The more of us who achieved this, the more peace we will have. Learn peace - act in peace - teach peace - and we will have peace.

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.

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 conduct workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops 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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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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