Dove with Branch
April 29, 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, Regarding the lady who didn't want to disclose her age; she has a perfect right to keep it private. It is none of anyone else's business. She has a right to be angry because her age is a private matter. - Candy in CO

Dear Candy, Of course she has a right to be angry! We all have a right to be angry at whatever we want. But I find being angry is not very much fun, nor a very effective way of dealing with things.. I would like my life to be enjoyable so I do not choose anger, especially when more pleasant options are readily available. When we get angry at what others have a legal right to do, we make life less fun unnecessarily. - the Dean

Dear Dean, This regards the lady whose friend constantly criticizes her clothes. A loved one or a friend who is so concerned with what they think is right that they try to impose their thoughts on other people by critiquing their clothes, their parenting skills, their housework or whatever is not helpful. She just needs to let her friend know that she is uncomfortable with the way she dresses. A true friend would get the message. If the problem remains you just have to realize your friend has the problem not you. The friend is focusing more on her values than on your friendship. - Iris in CA

Dear Iris, You are absolutely right that we should tell our friend exactly how we feel. However it is important to learn not to be insulted by what other people say, even if they are your friends. We cannot control what other people feel and say, but we can control how we feel about what they say. Being insulted is unnecessarily making our selves a victim to what the other person says. If I am upset, then I am the one with the problem. I believe we are better off knowing how others feel than to not know. We can learn to be secure in our beliefs regardless of another's opinion. Differences are what make life beautiful; if we can learn to accept and enjoy them. - 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

If we kill someone we are guilty of murder. If we kill ten people we are a serial killer. If we kill thirty-three people we are guilty of a horrendous crime. The leaders of the world all recognize this and still when it comes to the greatest crime of all - waging war on another country - they praise it as a necessary tool to achieve our objectives. They even do it just to create democracy in another country.

They do not seem to recognize it as wrong, for they promote it as in the best interests of our own country. When our rulers see a perceived wrong (according to our interests or viewpoint) they are willing to use war as a tool to achieve their objectives. Those who recognize a small crime as such but do not recognize the wickedness of the greatest crime of all - the waging of war on another country - and instead praise it - cannot recognize the difference between right and wrong.

Perhaps we still need to recognize the right of self-defense, but that does not include the right to use war to achieve our political aims. It is time we give up the need to have it our way and accept the role of the world court and world government as a means of settling our differences with other nations, just as the individual states in our nation look to the federal government. This system has worked well for us. It could work for the whole world.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to perceive information that supports the beliefs we have. First we take note of the information presented to us that validates our belief systems, and we often fail to notice things that do not. Next, we interpret the information that we receive in a way that is consistent with our existing belief system. What if this wasn't necessarily the case? What if we considered the information in the light of differing belief systems? And what if we always looked at things from a number of points of view before making a decision? In order to win a trial, lawyers are trained to carefully examine the other possible points of view. If they do not, they will not be prepared to respond with the best argument for their case.

We know our opinions stem from our thoughts, not from external truth. So, perhaps we shouldn't go to battle over our truths as we so often do. Although deeply held, your truths are not necessarily those of others. When you come to terms with this reality and place feeling good above the need to be right, you'll be taking a giant step toward eradicating the angry conflicts in your life.

The need to be right is also the need to prevail. We live in a competitive society, and we like to be winners. Part of being right is winning the conflict. Realize this, and know that your desire to be right is your ego trying to win another contest. Reframe your thinking to accept the idea that we are all in this together. Expect that others will think differently and that their perception of events will not be the same as yours. Accept their differences with joy. If we were all the same it would be like living in "Pleasantville," the movie about life in the suburbs where everything is the same - dull, and colorless.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think the things that everyone thinks about as absolutely true are absolutely true, for them.

Tuesday: I think about how those truths have changed over time.

Wednesday: I think about the things that I believe are absolutely true.

Thursday: I think about why others do not believe the things that I do.

Friday: I think about the beliefs of others that they think are absolutely true but I do not.

Saturday: I think about others being entitled to their honest beliefs just as I am.

Sunday: I resolve that others are as entitled to their own beliefs just as I am.

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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