Dove with Branch
May 25, 2015

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, Before my mother passed away she put in her will that she be cremated and told me as I was her Personal Representative. She asked me not to tell anyone until after her death because she was afraid they would be upset and try to talk her out of it. When she passed away and I informed everyone; to no surprise they were upset. They were not only upset with her, but were upset with me for not informing them. One sister will no longer speak to me. Do you think respecting her wishes was proper in this circumstance? - Thelma in NE

 

Dear Thelma, Yes I think you did the right thing! Your mother has the right to choose in these things and it is appropriate for you to respect her wishes. The reason your relatives are upset is because of their own personal problems of not being able to accept your mother's wishes. Stay loving, do not let this upset you and go on with your life knowing you did exactly what your mother wanted and that is what mattered. - the Dean

 

Dear Dean, I work the day shift which starts at 7:00 AM. I found that I have become accustomed to late hours during my school years and now have trouble sleeping. I would like to work a later shift so that I would be more effective on the job but am afraid to ask. What do you suggest? - Fritz in MN

 

Dear Fritz, I suggest you first consider your options and choose the one that you believe will be the most effective in the long run. Unless you can change your habit to get enough sleep then asking to work a later shift seems like an attractive option. Since that is available at your present workplace, it would seem that asking to change is an option that would most likely be attractive to both you and your employer. They would benefit from a more energetic worker on the job and would most likely accommodate you. Just be sure that you ask in a positive way so that they will see value both in you and your request. - 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

Once we habituate behavior, we find it is difficult to change. Once we create or accept responses based on our negative emotions, we often hold onto them and have difficulty giving them up. Once behavior becomes habitual, avoiding it becomes a challenge - even when we know it's the right thing to do. Acting in the way we always have will obviously feel "natural" to us. But when we commit to and make a plan for changing that behavior, so that a new positive way of responding can take its place, that new behavior will soon become "natural."

 

With hard work and practice, we can change our behavior. Forcefully, vigorously, and powerfully work at creating better thinking, healthier feelings, and more productive actions. Do this now, not later. For most people, it won't take very long to no longer feel negative about many things. But keep working on change, you will always continue to improve, even if you never become absolutely perfect at responding in the desired way. And remember that increasing the effort you put into changing will shorten the time it takes you to do so.

 

Rehearsing a desired behavior is almost as good as doing the real thing. By repeating an action again and again, you create a new path in your brain and use it until the new response becomes habitual. Scientists refer to this as creating a new neural path. In this sense the brain doesn't know the difference between "real" and "rehearsed" behavior. The process is similar to that of memorizing a poem or improving on your golf swing. The more times you practice (or rehearse) the poem, the swing, or the positive response, the closer you get to that behavior becoming automatic.

 

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about something that always upsets you.

Determine the belief you have that makes you feel that way.

 

Tuesday: Create a new belief that will allow you to no longer be upset when the same event happens.

 

Wednesday: Rehearse, practice and establish this new belief until it becomes your natural response.

 

Thursday: Think about someone whose behavior frequently upsets you. Determine the belief you have that makes you feel that way.

 

Friday: Develop a new way of thinking about that person's behavior so that it will no longer upset you.

 

Saturday: Resolve that whenever you become upset that you will search for the reason and then change the belief that is causing you to feel upset.

 

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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