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Subject: Newsletter 12/31/07
Date: Thu, 27 Dec 2007 14:01:44 -0800
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Dove with Branch
December 31, 2007 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
I wish you an exciting and joyous New Year!

This weekly newsletter is available free by subscription. All copies for the year are available on my website.

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My mother-in-law pays more attention to my husband's brother's children than she pays to ours. She brags about their grades and how they are excelling in sports in front our children and even talks about how poorly they are doing in school. She even asks why our children don't go out for sports. I am embarrassed for my children. How can I get her to stop doing this? - Carla in Ohio

Dear Carla, First of all do not be embarrassed for your children. Life is not some contest where we judge the successes of our children against others. Our children should grow up to be who they want to be. Life is not an inter-family popularity contest. Your mother-in-law is entitled to like, or not like anyone she chooses. It is difficult to change her behavior and much easier to change the way you feel about it. Help your children understand that their self-esteem doesn't depend on her approval. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I frequently eat at a nice restaurant in our neighborhood. Often there are families eating there and their children are very noisy. This disturbs me, and makes my meal very unpleasant. I have asked the owner to speak to the parents, but he refuses. What can I do to make my dining more pleasurable? Should I speak directly to the parents? - Disgruntled Customer

Dear Disgruntled, You can speak to the parents. You need to remember however, that the children have as much right to be noisy as you have to be quiet. If the owner accepts that atmosphere as appropriate, then you must decide for yourself whether you wish to continue eating there. The thing that you have complete control over is where you eat, and whether or not you allow yourself to become upset when the children are noisy. You can tell the parents that you are upset by the noise, and ask them if they would help to make it more pleasant for you. Remember you have no right to quiet and are only asking for a courtesy. Explore the idea of enjoying their energy before you choose to eat elsewhere. Children add a lot of fun to the world for many people. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: P.O. Box 535, 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 not controlled by individuals who want to impose their way of doing things on others. 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

We tend to make ourselves the victims of our own thinking. We grow up expecting certain things out of life, and when they don't happen we feel cheated. When something bad happens we tend to say, "What did I ever do to deserve this?" We find it difficult to accept what happened, because we are tied up in our own expectations and attachments.

We put ourselves in the victim role whenever we deny that the feeling of being a victim actually originates in our own mind. If you find yourself thinking in terms of "How can I possibly cope with this situation?" You are admitting that you are a victim. Thinking about how you can just get by is victim thinking.

Instead we need to think in terms of, "I am in control here," "I am the boss of my life." Until you take over control of your life in every way, you are making yourself a victim. Taking control means that you are the one who makes the choices about your own life, based on your independent needs and thinking.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the things in my life that I feel are out of my control.

Tuesday: I think about why things are out of control.

Wednesday: I think about the beliefs I have, that allow things to be out of control.

Thursday: I think about new choices I can make to take control of my life.

Friday: Today I take one thing in my life that has been out of control and bring it under control.

Saturday: Today I think about the decisions I must make, in order to take control of my life.

Sunday: I resolve that I am the boss of my life.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at: www.DeanOfPeace.com

Additional Notes

If you wish to schedule a phone seminar you can schedule them at your convenience for any day Monday through Thursday between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM Pacific Time by calling 800-359-6015 or e-mailing drdean@lifewithoutanger.com at least 24 hours in advance to arrange a scheduled time.

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Past issues of this newsletter are archived on my website.

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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


Contact Information

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