Dove with Branch
October 08, 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 am a Senior in high school. I want to get a tattoo but my parents won't let me. My friends all have tattoos and many of them do even more. Piercing tongues and belly buttons is common. How can I get my parents to agree, or should I just get a tattoo anyway and just wear long shirts at home? What can they do about it anyway? - Lori in MO

Dear Lori, What they can do about it anyway is not the point. Your parent's job is to create a belief system for your life, and unless it is illegal it is your responsibility to learn it. It is reasonable to be required to live by your parents' values unless they are illegal or unhealthy. When you leave home you are free to reject them, but not yet. Think carefully about why you want to get a tattoo, state your case, and accept their decision. Until you become an adult think of yourself as a person in training. You can work on which rules you want to keep as an adult and be ready to take control of your life at that point. - the Dean

Dear Dean, We live in an old house. My husband is a capable carpenter and can fix things when they break. The problem is he works long hours to make enough money and says he needs his time on the weekend to rest. We don't have enough money to hire someone but the work needs to be done and he won't do it what do you suggest? - Maria in NM

Dear Maria, I suggest you find a way to get your husband interested in doing the work. Maybe an offer to fix his favorite dessert will help. If he is not up to it and you want it done then find a way to get someone to do it, find a way to save the money, learn how to make the repairs, or wait until your husband is ready to do it. It may be tempting to browbeat and/or punish him in some way but those tactics create more problems than they solve, even if they do get the house fixed. - 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.

All studies and experiments on using preventative measures such as access to care and education about social problems have shown 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 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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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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