Dove with Branch
February 13, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
by Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Global Struggle

Dear Dean,When I come home from work in the evening and I am tired I often find that my family does not respect my need for quite. The children may be arguing, or my wife may be listening to loud music on the stereo. When this happens I get upset and tell them to be quite but they are not good about honoring my needs. Baxter in Denver

Dear Baxter, I know that you are feeling the effects of a stressful day. You may feel that since you have been out their supporting your family that they should cater to your needs. However this is not the case. The need for peace and quiet is your problem not theirs. If you can't join in the fun in good humor then you need to find a place where you can go and experience the quiet time you seek. The last thing you want to do is get upset and be angry with them. This will not only make your immediate problem worse but it may also have some very negative long term effects as well. the Dean

Dear Dean, When I was young my mother taught me to be very clean and neat in my housekeeping. My children go out in the yard and play and then track dirt into the house. I can not get them to take off their shoes, or even to clean them well when they come in the house no matter how many times I them. Mary Sue

Dear Mary Sue, First of all the attitude about dirt is your problem and not their's. However, you are the parent and the teacher and it is appropriate that you children care for your home in the manner that you require. if you request your children to do things and they don't why to you let them get away with it? If they can't follow the rules they need to experience consequences given in a loving lesson until they are able to comply. The biggest mistake you can make is to tell them they can't do something, and then let them off without consequences when they do. Being yelled at is not consequences. Try not to make more rules than are necessary and never let your children get off without consequences when they don't follow the rules. the Dean

Send your Ask the Dean Questions to: P.O. Box 535, Elmira, OR 97437 or visit to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Globe Magnify Glass

The need to re-examine assumptions about our foreign policy objectives is demonstrated by our self-centered definition of national security. Typically political leaders and journalists alike suggest that the primary goal of foreign policy is national security, and only after that has been assured should we worry about our relationships with other countries.

Such thinking assumes that we can be secure while other nations are insecure - that somehow we can be safe regardless of the attitude of other nations. In any war missiles will go both ways. There is no way to make the world safe for ourselves unless we make it safe for other nations as well. We must take responsibility for their security problems as well. We can not make our end of the boat safer by making the other end more likely to capsize.

We have to find out what the other side's (calling them the other side is another problem) legitimate concerns are in order to solve our own. At every level we need to re-examine our working assumptions. We are not seeking to win a war. We are seeking to gain a peace.

Creating a Peaceful New World
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   World Peace

Most of us want to be true to our real self, rather than to what anger makes us want to do. The best time to deal with our anger is before it happens. When we learn to not experience the anger, we eliminate all of the problems it causes and the negative feelings that go along with it

The weight of evidence shows that expressing anger serves to make it stronger. Not only does it make it stronger, it also establishes a habit of dealing with things in an angry way. When we do not respond to momentary irritations but instead distract ourselves with more pleasant thoughts, we will feel better faster and may well avoid a shouting match.

Remember, to a large extent we upset ourselves. We make a choice to be angry. It is not something that we simply must do or experience. It is not the circumstances that upset us, but how we view them. Since we choose to upset ourselves, we can choose to not be upset. We have a choice in the matter.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Left Arrow

Monday: Today I am in command. I am the boss of me and my life. I take full control of my life in every way.

Tuesday: I refuse to become the victim of my own beliefs. When I have beliefs that depreciate or upset me I dispute them. When I have a belief that disturbs me in any way I examine it.

Wednesday: Life is not a destination it is a journey. I decide to enjoy the journey because I wish my life to be pleasant.

Thursday: I recognize that there are other ways of looking at things than my own. Those ways are okay. Other people do not need to use my ways.

Friday: I keep quite about momentary irritations. I distract myself in pleasant activity until they settle down.

Saturday: I train my mind to embrace and accept peaceful thoughts. Peace is inevitable for those who choose peace.

Sunday: Just because I believe something is not true does not mean it is wrong. It is okay for others to have beliefs that are different than my own.

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:

Additional Notes

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