Dove with Branch
September 02, 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 am already a grandmother and my mother is still running my life! She suggests things like what I should cook for dinner and even what I should wear when I go shopping. She will even tell my husband that he should be wearing different clothes to work. I respect my mother but how do I get her to stop giving me advice? - Judy in CO

 

Dear Judy, The first thing to do is to think carefully about whether you want her to stop giving you advice. If you just let her speak her mind and continue to make your own choices you don't need to be upset by what she says to you. Your other options run all the way from explaining that you feel ready to make your own choices now, to breaking off regular contact with her. It may be difficult to get her to change. Think carefully about learning to tolerate her behavior before you make a choice that damages an otherwise good relationship. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, We live in New Hampshire and each summer we try to spend some time at each of our family homes in Rhode Island. We enjoy our three weeks there a lot but we have a problem with my wife's parents. They plan too many events for us that it doesn't leave us enough time to do all the things we would really like to do. How can we find more time on our own without insulting them? - Ryan in NH

 

Dear Ryan, If you are going to make your decisions based on whether you insult them or not this may be difficult. I suggest you listen and accommodate them if you can make that work for you. Explain that you have other prior commitments when it won't. You can respect other's wishes and accommodate their good intentions when it works without letting them take control of your decisions. If being nice and just explaining your need or desire to do what you choose and let them keep trying to be helpful doesn't work for you, then perhaps you, your wife, or both of you, need to have a "heart to heart" with 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 - have difficulty with 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

Anything you consider important in a relationship should be discussed and agreed to ahead of time by both of you. When new things come up as your relationship progresses, they should be worked out mutually. You have no right to be upset just because your mate doesn't want to do things your way. Their ideas of what they expect and what they are willing to contribute are just as important as yours are. Expecting them to conform to your notion of how a partner should be, when they haven't agreed to those expectations, and becoming angry when they don't live up to them, is unfair and unreasonable.

 

It is especially important to pay attention to these issues at the present time because our society is transforming its idea of how we look at the partnering relationship. Traditionally we looked at the relationship as the male provider and the female nurturer. This concept is changing to a new concept of equality where the lines between these roles are no longer clear. If you are expecting the old traditional relationship you need to find a prospective partner who is seeking that kind of relationship as well.

 

Since the present forms of relationship are still emerging and far more complex in most cases you will need to consider each others expectations. Be open to reaching compromises on many smaller issues before deciding to enter into a long term relationship. Starting out with commitment and then finding out whether it works or not tends to consume much more emotional energy than most of us would like to expend.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about my picture of how a relationship should be.

 

Tuesday: Today I think about my partners or prospective partner's picture of how a relationship should be.

 

Wednesday: Today I think about the things that I believe are essential in a relationship.

 

Thursday: Today I think about the importance of explaining how our relationship should be to my partner.

 

Friday: Today I resolve to discuss and understand my prospective mate's point of view.

 

Saturday: Today I decide to resolve differences through negotiation and understanding.

 

Sunday: Today I resolve to understand my prospective mate's expectations and to resolve any difference from my own before entering into a relationship.

 

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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