Dove with Branch
September 8, 2014

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, I have been reading your newsletter for some time. I don't understand when you say we should trust someone when those close to you are always taking advantage of you. How can I be trusting of those who have hurt me? I try but they just take advantage of me. I am so tired of trying to forgive them even though they will never acknowledge how much they have hurt me. I just don't think trust is even possible. - Richard in MN

 

Dear Richard, Start by trusting in your Higher Power. Then trust in your own ability to deal with the problems that life presents you. Change the problem in your mind, from how people are treating you, to what is the best way to react in this situation. Realize that other people can't hurt you inside unless you let them. We want love and the only way we can get it is by giving it. So trust others and if they return the trust - wonderful! But don't require them to be trustworthy in return. They can't hurt you unless you expect something from them that they are unwilling to give. When we fail to offer trust we have eliminated the possibility of finding a positive solution. We must forgive for our own well being. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, My brother has nicknamed his son "lazy bones." I think this is a terrible thing to do, and I have told him so. He tells me that it is none of my business. I tell him that Bill will feel inferior because this name will create a picture that he is a lazy kid. Kids have enough problems without their parents making it intentionally worse for them. My brother thinks it's funny. What can I tell my brother so he will realize that he is making things more difficult for his kid? - Karen in WA

 

Dear Karen, The nickname is not bad because you think it is bad. It is only bad if the child thinks it is bad. If he feels ashamed or depreciated by it then it shouldn't be used because he will believe it is true, or that others are mean to him. If he likes it, or really appreciates the humor, then it can be okay. Most children do not have sufficient self-esteem to see it as positive or funny. If your nephew is one of those lucky children then okay. But if he is not - and I expect he is not - then pass this answer on to him to consider. Your brother may well be abusing his child just for his own humor. - 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

Most of us think that many of the things that are being done in our society are wrong, and if they were done differently our life would be better. We think other people are stupid, greedy, thoughtless and uncaring among other things. Most likely they are thinking the very same way we are much of the time. The other side of the coin is that if there are abuses in our society there are people who feel they benefit from those abuses and wish to maintain the status quo. If those who hold positions of power in our government benefit from their positions they are not the ones motivated by the desire to change.

 

If we want to be the ones in power so we can have things our way, then things will end up the same; only reversed. This is the way it works in our political system now. As soon as those in power have abused the system enough the ones not in power gain support, and it then becomes their turn to do the same in their own special way.

 

Until we as a society gain the understanding, integrity, and compassion to look for ways of being and doing that consider the needs and viewpoints of everyone, our system will continue to work as it does now. When we are ready to care about others as much as we care about ourselves and our own families, we will continue to do politics in this way. When we become concerned about the viewpoints and needs of everyone equally, we will create a society that is loving and nurturing for all people.

 

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Most often the anger directed toward us is due to the other person having different expectations than our own. They are operating under the assumption that we will act toward them in a certain way; and when we don't, their anger is triggered. They may have very different beliefs and be totally unaware of our point of view or motivation; or they simply may be very different from us in many ways.

 

In dealing with another person's emotions, it is important to be aware of the fact that the other person wants something to come out of their relationship with you. The key is to understand their expectations, and to help them understand yours.

 

Such mutual understanding is brought about by meaningful communication. Rather than expecting the other person to feel the same way as you do about the situation that has made them upset, make a real effort to find out how they are thinking about something. In order to get a good understanding of what's driving their upset, so that you can ultimately diffuse it, you need to hone your listening and communication skills. Train yourself to be a good listener by learning how to "listen deeply." To do this, you must put your own thoughts and beliefs on hold, and really focus on what the other person is saying.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: When someone is upset with you ask yourself why you think they are angry.

 

Tuesday: When someone is upset ask yourself what they are expecting from you.

 

Wednesday: When someone is angry with you ask yourself what different belief they have that is causing the upset.

 

Thursday: When someone is asking for something from you find out exactly what they are expecting and why they do.

 

Friday: When you are asking for something from someone make sure they understand exactly what you are expecting and why you expect it.

 

Saturday: When someone asks for something from you try to understand their request from their point of view.

 

Sunday: Resolve to always be a good listener, and understand fully the meaning and feeling of what others are relating to you.

 

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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