Dove with Branch
August 26, 2013 Insights From the Dean of Peace
 
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peacemaker,
 
      Welcome!
 

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My family was close when I was young but we are drifting further and further apart. I try to support my family but they never seem to care about any problems but their own. How can I get them to help me when I have problems? - Jose in TX

 

Dear Jose, Perhaps you can't. They have no obligation to help you just as you have no obligation to help them. If they still feel loving toward you they will most likely help. They may not want your help, at least in the way you offer it. They may feel helpless to help you. If they are not supporting you in the way they do each other then you would do well to find out why they are treating you differently. Ask them in a nice way! If you are giving them support but expecting something in return then you are not "giving" them support. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, I have found a wonderful restaurant that I go to often. The food and the service are both really great. They have other regular customer who also go there. The problem I have is that they are loud and argumentative and often use inappropriate words. I have asked them to please be quiet but they ignore me. I have also asked the manager to speak to them but he never does. Do you have any suggestions? - Shanna in WA

 

Dear Shanna, Find another restaurant? You do have other options. You might let them know nicely that you (and perhaps others) are upset and ask if they could speak more quietly. You might let the manager know that you (and perhaps others) will be leaving if it continues. You could even take up a collection from the other regular diners to buy their meals elsewhere. You always have the options of choosing not to be disturbed by their behavior, or searching for a desirable lunch elsewhere. - 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

It seems that when we perceive that our government is doing something wrong we start a resistance movement to stop it. Probably the most notable at this time is the war in Afghanistan. We are marching frequently to try to create pressure to bring the troops home. We don't like what is going on and we want it to stop so we "fight" to end the war. Our solution when we don't like what is going on is just to put up resistance until change is made.

 

The problem with resistance is that it works to stop the harmful conduct without offering a positive solution to the problem. If we want to have peace and stop wars not only must we stop wars, we must also discover a way to live in peace. If we focus on creating peace, then not only can we find a way for the war to end, but we can also create conditions so that future wars are unnecessary. We must change the thinking that causes us to use war as a way to resolve conflict, before we will stop using war as a way to have our way in the world.

 

When Mother Teresa was asked to march against war she refused saying, "call me when you are marching for peace." We admire her thinking and her way of being. Let's recognize the value of her thinking. We will quit using war as a tool to settle disputes when we recognize that there are better ways to settle our differences. Why squander our lives and our resources when there are better solutions available to us? Let's no longer use war as a tool of diplomacy to solve our problems. We can instead use some form of mediation to solve our problems and end up friends with our relationships and resources still in tact. We can and should make war only our tool of last resort for self-protection.

 

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Don't become a mind reader. We need to learn to not make assumptions about what our partner is thinking or wants. Also, we should never assume that they fully understand what we are telling them. Finishing your partner's sentence for them when you think you know what they are about to say not only leads to their resentment and anger but also to your own lack of understanding about who they really are.

 

On the other hand, be clear when you are communicating something to your partner. Don't assume that the other person automatically knows what you mean when you say something. Their way of thinking is not identical to yours, and misunderstandings are likely if you are not explicit and clear. Such misunderstandings can often lead to one or the other becoming fearful or angry. We need to do the best we can to make sure the other person understands what we are thinking.

 

Arthur Conan Doyle in his Sherlock Homes series left us with an idea that it is really cool to be able to take a few facts and find the answer. We need to overcome the idea that it is clever to be able to understand what someone is really thinking or saying just by listening to a few words. When we are trying to understand something the idea is to withhold judgment until we can get as much information as possible. The more we jump to conclusions the more we will be creating misunderstandings - and unnecessary stress.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Pay attention to how often you assume you know what someone is telling you before they complete what they are saying.

 

Tuesday: When you are uncertain of what someone is saying ask what they mean instead of guessing what they mean.

Wednesday: When so meone says something different than what you expect take the time to make sure they mean what you think they do.

 

Thursday: Be accurate and complete when explaining and making requests of others.

 

Friday: When someone tells you something find out how they feel as that is part of the message.

 

Saturday: Expect that many words will have a different meaning to the other person.

 

Sunday: Resolve not to be the super sleuth who "knows" the answer from just a few clues.

 

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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