Dove with Branch
April 24, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Welcome! - Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I have a niece who is going to college. Her parents are not able to provide for her education so we offer her board and room in our home to help out. We ask that she help prepare the meals and clean the dishes in return. Not only does she avoid these chores, she also complains about them as burdensome. We do not want this to continue. What should we do? Helpful Aunt

Dear Helpful Aunt, You should not let it continue. You have offered room and board in return for help with the chores. Making not complaining a condition of the agreement is appropriate. Tell your niece you love her and want to help with her college but it is on the condition that she help with the dishes, and that she not upset the family harmony with her complaining. It would be helpful if you were willing to set up some intermediate sanctions so she has a chance to learn this lesson. Whatever rules you establish enforce them. This is a life lesson that it would be helpful for her to learn. Do not feel guilty if she is unable to comply. You made a reasonable offer. She needs to experience the consequences of her choice. My love to you for helping. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My mother is ill and needs constant professional care. She is presently in a nursing home. She is not happy there and wants to live in our home. I work and am unable to provide the care she needs. I must continue to work in order to maintain the home. My husband does not want mother in the home as she has never approved of our marriage. Our children do not feel close to mother and do not want her in the home. I feel obligated because she provided me with the best clothes and the best cars even if she was unhappy with my life choices. - Stressed Daughter

Dear Stressed Daughter, A lot of poor choices have created an all too typical life situation. You now have to sort out a mess of conflicted feelings and relationships. You have to find a way to make this work for you. Unless you are a magician or a magic psychologist you are not going to be able to satisfy everyone. You must somehow find the best doable solution for everyone. Satisfying everyone’s emotional needs may not be possible at this point. Reassess your values and add more love to the mix. You have already chosen your family over your mother’s motional needs. Find a way to love and honor your mother without too high of a price for your family. More visits and calls that you keep upbeat would be helpful. - 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

Recently the United States passed on the right to a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council. Not only did we not wish to have a seat, we even opposed the creation of the council. We passed on the opportunity to be a part of an organization that is focusing on what we should all stand for; human rights.

If we are a democratic society concerned about these same rights for other people, then we should not only be there, but we should be offering our insight. We are a leader in the protection of individual rights. We should not turn our back on the world. We should be there to help. Just because others don’t want to play the game our way, does not mean we should take our ball and refuse to play in the game. They way we solve our problems is by talking and working together. When we refuse to play the game is lost.

Perhaps there will be abusers on the council. Of course there will. Every nation, including our own is still abusing human rights. This is an honest effort to improve individual rights in the world. We think of ourselves as leaders in protecting human rights. Let’s join in and see if we can accomplish something meaningful. The game of human rights is one we need to keep playing even when we loose.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

A relationship between partners is intimate and intense. For this reason anger issues become intensified in a relationship. More is at stake than with a casual acquaintance or even a friend. So if we are to maintain the relationship, it becomes even more important for us remove the anger. How well we get along with our mate affects our entire quality of life. If we don’t know how to deal effectively with the anger that comes between us, we are going to have major problems.

If you are going to move beyond the anger, you must respect your mate and accept them just as they are. You will not be able to enjoy a happy intimate relationship unless you fully accept and respect the other person, and let them know you do. “Never criticize or complain” is a good rule to follow. It will help you to reap great rewards in the richness of your relationship.

Never think you have the right to decide for your partner what is right and what they should do. This means that you are attempting to assume a position of power over them. If you assume the power your relationship is no longer an equal one. Also, the other person usually will not accept your control. They will likely become angry and unhappy with the relationship. Intimacy with your mate requires that you respect and accept them for the person they are.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about my relationships. Which ones would I want to change?

Tuesday: I look at the relationships that I want to change to understand why I would like to change them.

Wednesday: I think about the relationships I want to change and picture how I would like them to be.

Thursday: I focus on the changes I must make in the way I think that will allow me to create the relationships I desire.

Friday: : I determine the new ways I must speak and act to make the desired changes in my relationships.

Saturday: Today I put into practice the new ways that I want to be with others in my relationships.

Sunday: I rejoice in the old discordant relationships that are now more loving and harmonious.

Additional Notes

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