Dove with Branch
May 1, 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?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My two children ages five and seven are continually fighting with each other. When I catch them at this I punish them by making them hug each other and saying that they are sorry, but this doesn’t seem to help. What do you suggest? A.J. In Portland

Dear A.J., Punishing your children for fighting without teaching the lesson will not solve the problem. Punishing them in a way that makes it seem the other is unpleasant only makes the problem worse. They need to learn to like each other. They also need to learn not to criticize or complain. You are the teacher, they will learn from what you say and do. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My children have grown and left home. The have moved away and the only contact I have is Christmas and birthday cards. I tell them to call but they don’t. What can I do? Lonely Mother

Dear Lonely Mother, The lessons they learned growing up did not include keeping in close touch with their mother. Perhaps this is because you taught them to be independent. Now is the time to give them whatever love they will accept, and sit back and appreciate the persons you have taught them to be. Parenting is about love, not about obligations. You can try to find a positive way to be in their lives, but do not offer beyond what they are willing to accept. - 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

Most of us want to live in a society where all relationships are voluntary and peaceful. Some don’t because they believe that they have the power to control others. For them, life is good as long as they are able to maintain their control over others. This concept of society, which is a common one, dooms those who do not hold the power to a less fortunate life. We are seeking to make an ever better model of society that will provide the most desirable life for the most people. We generally call this democracy.

In a democracy we have the freedom to make changes in our Government. We are not doomed to follow the same rules, or the same leaders if they do not serve us well. One of the problems we have is that we tend to resist change. We put up with old ways of doing things because we think they are right simply because we have been taught to believe they are. When the way things are done make you unhappy, take it as a signal to examine your beliefs. Determine whether changing your belief, or changing the way we do things, would be most appropriate.

One area to which we should pay special attention is imposing our beliefs on others. The more we impose our beliefs on others the less freedom we have. We have chosen to be a society open to all and as a result we have to be especially watchful of imposing our beliefs on others. Never let your test be, "this is the right thing to do because I, or my neighbors think it is", "or this is the way we have always done it." Do not become upset when you neighbor wants to do it differently. Your effort should be to find a rule that will work for everyone. Defending our old ways of doing things as the right way for everyone is not a path to peace.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Realize that what you are thinking may be hurting you. Choose to replace your negative thoughts with loving positive thoughts. People want to be loved. If you hold back your anger and give them love instead they will respond in a positive way. When others are positive, it is easier for you to be positive. Ask yourself, “If I was feeling love what would I do now?” Realize that the other person is not intentionally trying to hurt you. They are just doing the best they know how. Do not blame other people for not playing by the rules. They are living life by their rules, not yours.

Remember that you have no right to control other people. The fact they have done something you think is wrong gives you no right to control them, or try to change them, unless that is your job. Remind yourself of this when you are upset at how others are acting. Once you tell yourself, “I do not control what other people do,” you free yourself from anger.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I pay attention to my thinking. I decide whether each thought feels Positive or negative.

Tuesday: Today I take extra time to enjoy my positive thoughts as they occur.

Wednesday: I think about how I can replace my negative thoughts with positive thoughts.

Thursday: Today I think about how good I feel when other people like me.

Friday: : I think about what I like in each person that I meet.

Saturday: I tell each person that I talk to something nice about themselves, or what they are doing.

Sunday: I accept the choices other people make as okay for them.

Additional Information

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Getting along with other people

Our happiness and success in life depends on how we relate to other people. Learn how we can create positive and loving relationships with all the people we know and meet.

You can schedule a phone seminar for the days offered. 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 at least 24 hours in advance to arrange a scheduled time.

The price is $15.00 for a one hour seminar. If you subscribe to my free newsletter “Insights from the Dean of Peace” you are entitled to two free phone seminars to use at your convenience.

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 send them the information.

If you are a charitable or religious organization and would like to reprint any of my articles please contact me for permission, which will be cheerfully granted.

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

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


Contact Information

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-3647
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