Dove with Branch
September 16, 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, My mother was controlling my life. She was even telling who should be my friends when I was forty-three years old. Finely I decided that it was time to make my own decisions. When I told my mother to please let me make my own choices she said I didn't know how to recognize who were just there to use me. I pointed out that she was right and that I was never going to learn until I did it for myself and that she wasn't always going to be there to choose for me. She understood and after a few troubling errors I am now doing pretty well. - Lisa in MN

 

Dear Lisa, Great work! You were assertive in a positive way and solved your problem without creating stress between you and your mother. Congratulations - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, I attend a local junior college and there is a person at school who is always picking on me. He makes fun of the clothes I wear and the food I eat. He even makes fun of the way I talk. No matter what I do he makes fun of me. It upsets me so much that I want to quit school. I tell him how much it hurts, but that only encourages him to do more. How can I get him to stop? - Earl in NJ

 

Dear Earl, He keeps picking on you because you allow yourself to be upset. He is someone who enjoys creating pain for others. When you understand this and accept yourself as being okay no matter what he says you will be able deflect his attacks without being upset. When you do the fun will be over for him and he will stop. What is even more important; you will learn to like yourself, and life will become better for you. It may seem hard to do but it works. - 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.

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Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

We have a right to free speech. This is an essential right that should not be controlled or tempered by our government except in matters of physical safety to others. In a free society we must be free to express our opinions about anything and everything. Even if the hearer doesn't accept the message as appropriate or desirable we still have the right to state our beliefs.

 

We are however a member of our society and we have a personal stake in how it functions. This creates a secondary obligation that we concern ourselves with the effect our message will have on the listener as well as society as a whole.

 

If we are to live with our neighbors in peace and harmony we should consider presenting our message in a way that promotes that. If we care about creating a positive change we should present our message in such a way that it will most likely be considered in a positive way by the listener. All too often we present our message with so much anger and negativity that it is resisted by the listener just because of the way it is presented.

 

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Unfortunately, we often relate to each other as if we are to be constantly judged. We think it is important to decide who is wrong and who is right. We think we need to be right. And if we are wrong, then we think we should suffer and be punished somehow. If there is guilt, then we think there must be blame. We try to control someone else's behavior by placing blame upon them. Most of the time, we don't even realize that we are doing this. But if we are practicing guilt and blame, we see the other person as threatening us, so we attack them. Because of their insecurities many people can be controlled by the power you create by placing blame. You may gain control, but do not expect a positive relationship to result unless you can actually find someone who enjoys other people having the power.

 

Blaming always leaves us with resentment and other negative feelings. Only by not placing blame can we be in control of our own fate. Unfortunately our legal system has adopted the concept of negligence, which is simply placing blame for mistakes. We buy into this concept of blaming others for all of the bad things that happen to us. We have learned to believe we should be compensated any time a bad thing happens to us because that is our society's way of thinking. When we do this we inadvertently accept victim-hood and incorporate it into our belief system.

 

By learning not to judge others, we learn to accept ourselves. As long as we condemn others for their mistakes, we will not be able to fully accept our own. We will be angry with ourselves because we are not living up to our own judgment of how we should be.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you judge other people.

 

Tuesday: Think about how you blame other people for their mistakes.

 

Wednesday: Think about how you use blame to control other people's actions.

 

Thursday: Think about how you feel when others blame you.

 

Friday: Resolve to accept the different opinions of others as appropriate for them.

 

Saturday: Resolve not to blame others for honest mistakes.

 

Sunday: Resolve to accept other people as they are without judgment.

 

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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