Dove with Branch
March 25, 2013 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 friend who doesn't like the car I drive and she mentions it constantly. I tell her that I don't like to be criticized, but she says "Friends should let each other know what they think." I don't think that friends should criticize each other, am I right? - Cindy in CA

 

Dear Cindy, If what someone thinks of you is of no value or hurtful to you then you will want to avoid them - or get over it. Many think it is really great to have someone they can trust to give them an honest opinion. You might remind her that she has already let you know how she feels. If I had a friend who was doing this to be helpful I would appreciate it very much. If what they said upset me, then I would try to examine and change how I feel about it. Friends sometimes bring out our insecurities. If they are doing it in a loving way then we can be thankful. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, My son-in-law doesn't like me. He won't invite me to his home or even won't carry on a conversation with me. I have a granddaughter that I have never even seen because he won't allow my daughter to bring them to my home. My daughter has chosen to abide by his wishes even though I know it hurts her very much. He doesn't even allow her to call or write. He won't even say why he is upset with me. How can I find a way to see my daughter and granddaughter whom I love very much? - Wilma in MO

 

Dear Wilma, If he refuses to talk to you and you are unable to talk to your daughter as well, then gracious acceptance of the situation is probably your best bet in the long run. Perhaps time will change things. Have great compassion for your daughter and try not to make things more difficult for her than they already are. For whatever reason, she has chosen to abide by her husband's wishes. It was most likely not an easy choice for her. Try not to add to her suffering by showing your pain to her. Telling her that you understand without saying more would be a great gift under the circumstances. - 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

I attended a discussion group recently that was discussing methods of nonviolence. It was disappointing to me as the subject content was more aligned with civil disobedience. Those present were more interested in how they could have their way than they were with the concern for what most people wanted. The comment that caught my attention the most was when someone referred to voting as the opiate of the people.

 

If we are to live together as a peaceful society, then we must have some method of determining and be willing to carry out the will of the people. Otherwise we have the tyranny of the powerful. If we are willing to fight for our own way; even when it is not the way of the majority, then the use of nonviolence just becomes a strategy we are using to have our own way. Revolution against the rule of the majority is much different than revolution against the rule of a powerful and abusing minority.

 

Most of us want to live in peace rather than just have our way. When our system is not functioning in a peaceful way our job should be to restore and use the system, not to overthrow it by the use of force, even if that force is nonviolent. We abandoned the idea of lynch mobs as a bad idea many years ago. We have the means in our society to create change that reflects the will of the people. When we see mistakes are being made our job is to bring it to the attention of others; seek better solutions; work to get them.

 

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to make ourselves the victim of our own thinking. We grow up expecting certain things out of life, and when those things don't happen, we feel cheated. When something bad happens we tend to say, "What did I ever do to deserve this?" We find it difficult just to accept what happens because we get tied up in our own expectations and attachments. We put ourselves in the victim role whenever we deny that the feeling of being a victim actually originates in our own mind, and that it is just the choice we have made about how we look at what happened.

 

If you find yourself thinking in terms of "How can I possibly cope with this awful situation?" you are admitting that you are a victim. Thinking about how you can just get by is victim thinking. Instead we need to think in terms of, "I am in control here." "I am the boss of my life." Until you take over the control of your life in every way, you are making yourself a victim. "Taking control," means that you are the one who makes choices about your own life based on your independent needs and thinking. It means that you are not making your choices based on what someone, or everyone, is telling you that you must or must not do.

 

Refuse to become the victim of your own beliefs. Whenever you discover that you have beliefs that depreciate or upset you, don't allow them to remain. Examine them and make the necessary changes to align your beliefs with your truths.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things that others in you family do to take advantage of you.

 

Tuesday: Think about the things that others in you family do to take advantage of you.

 

Wednesday: Think about the ways you are mistreated at work.

 

Thursday: Develop new ways of responding so that you will no longer be mistreated at work.

 

Friday: Think about how your friends and others in the community take advantage of you.

 

Saturday: Develop new ways of responding so that you will no longer be mistreated by others.

 

Sunday: Resolve to change any beliefs that allow you to be a victim.

 

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."

 

If you are a charitable or religious organization and would like to reprint any of my articles please contact me for permission, which will be cheerfully granted.

 

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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

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