Dove with Branch
April 10, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Craig,

Welcome! - Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
  Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I love candles and have a number of them in my home. My husband says that he does not like candles and refuses to allow them to be displayed in the home. We seem to be OK with everything else. He says that some of my candles were given to me by old boyfriends and he does not want to be reminded of them. I have no attachment to a particular candle because of where it came from. Should I throw away the candles just to make him happy? - Candle Lover

Dear Candle Lover, Yes, no, and maybe. The real problem here seems to be your husband's jealousy. It is not appropriate for him to try to eliminate your candles just because of his problem and he needs to work on getting over his jealousy. To have a successful marriage he needs to learn to trust. On the other hand a little compassion may be in order. Perhaps a compromise, such as throwing out the old candles and starting over might be helpful if he agrees to work on his problem in return. Neither of you are perfect. Helping each other to get better is the basis of a good relationship. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I take my children to a day care provider who has a helper who is violating some safety rules. She allows the children to be in areas that I do not believe are safe. They are able to play in the kitchen unsupervised. They could be hurt badly by knives or burned by appliances. Should I report her conduct to the authorities so this problem will be remedied, or should I just take my children to another day care? - Worried Mother

Dear Worried Mother, The safety of all of the children at the day care center as well as your own child should be your primary concern. If you have spoken to the helper and she has not corrected the situation then you should talk to the head of the day care center now. You should insist that these problems be resolved immediately and only report the behavior if they are not. When we encounter this kind of problem our focus should be on eliminating the problem in the most effective way. Punishment should not be the reason for our choice of action.- 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

When our country is attacked how do we respond? Do we ask our government to protect us, or do we come together as a people to decide how protect ourselves? How we view this question has a lot to do with how we respond. If we are asking the government to protect us then we are seeking the help of a hopefully kind and beneficent ruler who will provide for our needs. We are not just turning our protection over to others we are turning the ability to make decisions about what is good for our life over to others.

The abuses in the past have come when the people turn their protection over to others instead of working together as a collective group of citizens. If the purpose of our struggle is to maintain our freedom, then we do not want to make decisions that give up our freedom just to stay alive. Remember the cry of our forefathers who said, "Give me freedom or give me death." In deciding for our security always ask yourself, "When I do this am I giving up a little bit of my freedom because of my fear?"

Let us begin by looking for solutions that give us our freedom. We look for the reason we are being attacked and solve the problem in a way that brings freedom to all; even to the attacker if possible.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Following through on your commitment to an anger-free life involves signing up for a new journey. Deciding to actually enjoy this journey will make it much more pleasant. Learn to think of life as a process instead of in terms of goals that you are trying to achieve. If you focus only on goals, you are not going to be happy until you achieve them. If you focus on the process, you will enjoy working to achieve the goals. Since we spend so much time working to achieve our goals, doesn't it make sense to enjoy ourselves in the process?

Initially, learning to not express anger may seem like a lot of work. As you keep working to bring about the change however, it will become easier and you will find that your anger flares up much less frequently. One day you will say to yourself. "Gee I can't remember the last time I felt angry."

If you work at it you will get there. Refuse to be discouraged by your initial lapses. Instead, learn from your mistakes. Remember to evaluate your progress, but focus more intensely on your successes than your failures.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I remind myself to relax. I become mentally flexible.

Tuesday: I let go of the "shoulds" and "musts" in my life. I accept what is happening.

Wednesday: Whenever I feel stressed about something I stop and make a decision so that I will no longer be stressed.

Thursday: When something needs fixing I fix it. I don't waste time being upset.

Friday: When I feel upset I always think first. I do not respond until I consider the possibilities.

Saturday: Anytime I am upset I ask myself, "what belief do I have that is upsetting me."

Sunday: When something in my past upsets me, I find a new and more positive way of viewing it.

Additional Notes

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