Dove with Branch
June 2, 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, My son is unruly and frequently challenges my authority. I end up getting so upset at him that I scream at him and have even slapped him on a couple of occasions. I am ashamed of myself. How can I stop this behavior? - Jackie in FL

 

Dear Jackie, You and your son have both learned strategies of responding that are not effective, and are even self-defeating. It seems impossible to stop because they have become an automatic response pattern that just happens whenever you are "provoked." Just like when you buy a new car with different controls or get a new computer operating system you can learn a new response pattern. This is a serious problem. If you can't do it on your own or with the help of my book I suggest you seek counseling. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, My sister and I have fought for years. We are very different and we find it hard to see the other's point of view. We are in our thirties and still don't talk to each other. I would like to put this behind us and become friends with her. Where do I start? - Monica in IN

 

Dear Monica, You can start by accepting her as perfect just the way she is. Learn to think that it is okay for you that she has different beliefs and goals in life than you do. The next thing is to tell her that you have come to understand and are truly sorry for the way you have acted toward her. Next find time to show her that you care by visiting and being friendly whenever the opportunity arises. Don't beg forgiveness or push for togetherness. It will happen when she sees that things have truly changed. - 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

Your neighbor's dog comes onto your lawn and leaves a deposit. You are upset and you don't want this to happen again. What do you do about it? Do you shout at your neighbor or throw it back on his lawn, or maybe both? This is a solution that may feel right at the time. But how effective will it be in solving the problem? What is the real problem in the first place? Isn't the real problem living peacefully with your neighbors?

 

When we get angry and retaliate, how effective are we in dealing with the bigger problem? Not very! But this is what we do all too often, in personal as well as international relations. We often don't even stop to examine the circumstances and find out exactly what happened, or why. Was it intentional, negligent, or unintended? We don't even know if our neighbor was aware of what happened. We immediately blame and dislike our neighbor regardless of the circumstances, even though our cat may be misusing their backyard.

 

Let's talk to our neighbor in a friendly way to bring attention to and resolve these kinds of problems. We will then find solutions that are compatible with the underlying problem of living together in peace.

 

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If you find something funny you are not looking at it in a negative way. When we look for the humor in every situation and respond with humor whenever possible, we tend to blunt the tendency to feel negative about something. Instead we transform it into a positive emotion. When we do this we change the negative situation or the event, whatever it may be, into a positive event from our point of view.

 

Humor can also be thought of as a way of re-appraising a situation. Because you have thought of something in a humorous way, you have changed it into an emotionally positive event. You have intentionally placed yourself in your positive emotions when you chose humor as a response. Also, this allows you to send the information to the thinking center of your brain in order to develop an effective reply. Thinking about something instead of just reacting, tends to remove or reduce the emotional impact.

 

When you respond with humor you are able to actually shift from a negative emotion to a positive one just by the way you perceive and react to the event. Thinking it is funny when someone cuts in front of you in traffic will change your emotional response. By using humor, you're telling yourself that you refuse to take things too seriously. Humor reduces the seriousness of your thought. It shows that you can laugh at your failures. Humor laughs at our failures, but in an accepting and tolerant way. It helps you see the other side of things.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I treat all animals kindly.

 

Tuesday: Today I give thanks for the children of the world.

 

Wednesday: Today I hold peaceful loving thoughts for the world's leaders.

 

Thursday: Today I take time to sit and be peaceful.

 

Friday: Today I give life the light touch.

 

Saturday: Today I take time to enjoy and appreciate my family.

 

Sunday: Today I re-label my "mistakes" as lessons.

 

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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Contact Information

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