Dove with Branch
March 13, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

We still have some space available for the Life Without Anger Workshops in Eugene on Friday March 17th and Sat. March 18th. If you are able to make it please let me know so that we can get material to you in advance. E-mail of call me at 800-359-6015 if you are interested.

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Welcome! - Dean Van Leuven

Ask the Dean?
  Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I'm a 21 dealer. I have this one boss who continues to tell sexually oriented jokes to me while I'm at work. I like him. He is actually a decent guy underneath the jokes. I really like my job and I don't want to cause any problems at work. I've already told him to knock it off. He thinks it's funny that I don't like to hear sex jokes so he keeps it up. How can I get him to stop talking like this to me without him getting bent out of shape? - 21 Dealer

Dear 21 Dealer, I will suggest a possible solution that may work for you: Since you want to maintain a positive non-sexually charged relationship, you may try telling him that you look up to him as a father (or brother/uncle ) figure and want to continue doing so. Tell him that you are really disturbed by the "dirty Jokes," as you grew up in a home where they were not appropriate and that if he could avoid telling them in your presence it would be very helpful to you. Allow him to think that he is helping you with your problem and he will be more helpful. If you reject this idea try to find a similar one that allows you to let him know how hurtful it is for you, and that you do not want to lose his friendship. If you paint the problem as yours and ask him for help he will be more likely to change his conduct, and still maintain a positive attitude toward you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, There is this one very special girl at work that I like very much and I would like to enter into a relationship with her. She however, wants to just be my friend. How can I get her to enter into a relationship with me? - E.J. in Salt Lake

Dear E.J., That's easy. She already is in a relationship with you. . She offered you a relationship as a friend. Accept the gift and savor her friendship. It may blossom into more. It may not. Don't expect more. If you want the relationship to be more than a friendship you have two choices. You can either be patient or look elsewhere, or better yet do both. If you are pursuing the idea of a deeper relationship with her find out if you enjoy offering what she is seeking. - 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
  Globe Magnify Glass

We have a right to free speech. This is an essential right that should not be controlled or tempered by our government. In a free society we must be free to express our opinions about anything and everything. Even if the hearer doesn't accept the message as appropriate or desirable we still have the right to state our beliefs.

We are however a member of our society and we have a personal stake in how it functions. This creates a secondary obligation that we concern ourselves with the effect our message will have on the listener as well as society as a whole.

If we are to live with our neighbors in peace and harmony we should consider presenting our message in way that promotes that. If we care about creating a positive change we should present our message in such a way that it will most likely be considered in a positive way by the listener. All too often we present our message with so much anger and negativity that it is resisted by the listener just because of the way it is presented.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

It helps to talk through an emotion, either with your self or with a friend. You need to be very careful how you do this however. If you are merely relating how you are feeling and why, you are rehearsing your anger instead of reducing it. When you retell the circumstances that triggered your anger, you become aroused again. This actually reinforces and justifies your anger. You buy into your own story. So, instead of just talking about it, examine the event and your reaction. Discuss why you are feeling angry. Discuss what caused it. Discuss what you can do to get over it.

You can also talk about the upsetting event with the person who upset you. Don't talk about how angry you are and what you want to happen. Instead talk about the feelings and beliefs underneath your anger. Try to determine what you think is making you feel this way. Tell the other person that you are not asking them to fix it for you. Tell them that you are talking to them just so you can better understand the situation. There is no shame in being angry. Everyone has felt that way. There is no reason to hide your feelings as long as you are expressing them in appropriate ways. Be clear, and focus on talking about the fear and the pain that you feel. Don't fight against anger. Instead transform it into understanding and compassion.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I always expect and only accept the best in life. When it does not come right away I am patient.

Tuesday: When things happen that upset me I delay my response until I am no longer upset.

Wednesday: When I am upset I refuse to take any action unless absolutely necessary. When I am upset I do only what must be done at the moment.

Thursday: I know that every problem has a positive solution. I shall keep seeking until I find one.

Friday: I know that is anger is never necessary. When I am upset I look for the reason within me.

Saturday: When I am angry at something or someone in my past, I forgive so that I can feel good today.

Sunday: It is not what happened to me that is important. What is important is how I feel about what happened to me.

Additional Notes

If you know someone who might be interested in using any or all of my regular newspaper columns please pass this information on to them, or send me their e-mail address or telephone number and I will be happy to start sending them the information.

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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


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