Dove with Branch
April 14, 2014 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 a senior in high school. I want to study and travel in Europe before I start college next year but my parents say that they will not give me the money to go. They let my brother go to Hawaii two years ago when he graduated. How can I get them to be fair with me? - Kyrsten in WA

 

Dear Kyrsten, Without being angry or upset find out why they don't want to let you go to Europe for the summer. Explain pleasantly why you think it would be valuable for you to go. Respect their answer. Your parents are your teachers and guardians for now. They are responsible for your care and education. You should respect their choices. Very soon you will be making your own decisions. Try to learn and understand why they make the decisions they do. As harsh as it seems, you are not entitled to fairness. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, My friends at school are able to wear the latest fashions. My parents will not let me wear them because they say that they are too revealing. If I don't wear the latest fashions I won't be accepted by my friends. How can I get my parents to buy the clothes I need? They are important to me. - Colleen in CA

 

Dear Colleen, Tell your parents why you want the new clothes and what it feels like to you not having them - and then accept their answer. Your parents are teaching you a certain way of life that they believe is important. Respect their wishes and learn from the lessons they are teaching. It will help you to make better decisions when you are on your own. - 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

When we have a conversation with someone let's start by assuming they are speaking the truth. Let's also assume that they believe fully in the rightness of their belief. Let's assume that they have valid reasons for thinking the way that they do. And finally, let's assume that we could be wrong. After all we do not possess all of the knowledge in the universe. Stop for a moment and think about how the beliefs of our society have changed as we have grown.

 

Since we want to be peaceful, let's decide that we would like to have a peaceful relationship with other people. Knowing how much we like to stand in our own truth let's look for a way to allow others to stand in their truth. Even if they are a racist we can allow them to exclude whomever they want from their own homes. What we cannot allow is for them to require us to do the same, or to exclude others from rights shared by all.

 

The best interest of each of us is tied up in the best interest of all others. Since we have an innate desire to be joyful and live in peace we will eventually learn that lesson, as will others. All we have to do is to prevent those who have not learned that lesson from taking control of our lives and messing it up for us. We need to be sure our government is ultimately controlled by us instead of those who happen to be running it. We will then eventually be able to resolve differences in a way that we can live together in peace.

 

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

One way to reduce our susceptibility to anger is to be open to the possibility of other right answers for our self and for others. Just accepting the possibility that the answer may change if we have more information keeps us open to the idea that the judgment that we have made is only tentative, and always subject to change. When we view a judgment in this manner, we don't have a strong emotional investment in it. And we find it easier to make changes when we receive new information that is not in agreement with our present thinking. It also makes it much easier to recognize when new information is not in agreement with our judgment.

 

In this society we have learned to view differences as an attack. We have learned to marshal arguments to support our view of the truth. It is like we are debaters who are assigned a side and then defend it as our own truth. We tend to buy into our own story and the first thing we know it becomes our truth. If we can learn to give up the need to always have a truth then life becomes much easier for us.

 

Sometimes you must make a choice because you must determine an action NOW. Choose a response based on your best thinking, but don't place any emotional value on your choice. Don't take your truths too seriously. Always be looking for a better answer than the one you are acting on. When you see the possibility of a better choice, be open to changing your thinking. Rather than defending your original choice, see what you might learn by considering someone else's.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the idea that I don't know everything about anything.

 

Tuesday: I think about the idea that I could possibly be wrong about anything and everything.

 

Wednesday: I learn to be open for and to examine new information.

 

Thursday: I fully examine new information that is not in agreement with my opinion.

 

Friday: I learn not to take disagreement by others as an attack on myself.

 

Saturday: I always choose the best response available to me based on the information I have.

 

Sunday: I change my response whenever I see a better possibility.

 

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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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

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361
web: lifewithoutanger.com
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