Dove with Branch
May 22, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Hello! - Dean Van Leuven

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, When my neighbor mows the lawn he often mows across the line, and then steps onto my lawn as he turns back the other way. I have asked him to stop doing that, but he often “forgets” and steps on my beautiful grass. How can I get him to stop this behavior without making him angry at me? – Neat Homeowner

Dear Neat Homeowner, Why do you care that much? It seems he is trying to do something that benefits the whole neighborhood. How would you feel if he didn’t cut his grass? Of course you have the legal right to stop him, but the cost to love and neighborliness seems too high to me. Try to put this in perspective. In the greater scheme of things which is the most important? - the Dean

Dear Dean, I too had the problem of my two children fighting with each other. What worked for me was to explain the problem to them, and ask them to find a solution or suffer reasonable consequences. It was up to them to find a solution. I was only available as a consultant, and to offer support. They only paid the consequences a couple of times before they got serious about finding a solution. They learned to discuss their common problem and find a solution, and they ended up loving each other. - Calm Mom.

Dear Calm Mom, Wonderful!! This is a great application of the principle of teaching responsibility with love. When we teach our children to find positive solutions to their problems we create a harmonious family environment. At the same time, we are teaching them the tools they need to create a successful and happy life for themselves and those around them. - 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 produce products from our limited resources at a considerable cost in time, labor and materials. The products we produce enhance our quality of life. The amount of time, labor and resources are all limited in supply. When we produce goods for war we are using some of our limited resources just because we are not able to settle our differences in a less costly manner.

Yet when we say we want to quit making weapons of war we hear complaints that it hurts the economy because people are losing jobs. If we reflect for a moment, we realize that if we weren’t making war machines we could use our resources to increase our quality of life.

How much does it cost us to learn to love, trust, and care for each other on this planet? Is it more than the cost of war? I don’t think it is. I think we need to spend more effort on increasing our quality of life so that we won’t have the need to defend ourselves from each other. The need for war is simply a state of mind. Let’s change that.

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

In a relationship we need to learn not to make assumptions about what one partner is thinking or wants. Also, we should never assume that they fully understand what we are telling them. Finishing your partner’s sentence for them when you think you know what they are about to say not only leads to resentment and anger, but to your own lack of understanding about who they really are.

On the other hand, be clear when you’re communicating something to your partner. Don’t assume that the other person knows what you mean when you say something. Their way of thinking is not identical to yours, and misunderstandings are likely if you are not explicit and concise. Such misunderstandings can often lead to one or the other becoming angry. We need to do the best we can to make sure that the other person understands what we are thinking, and that we understand what they are thinking.

Listen to what your mate has to say. Do not play the “You said/I said” game. Learn to summarize back to them what you think they have said.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I explain the meaning of my thoughts carefully. I do not assume others will understand my meaning.

Tuesday: I pay attention to see that others have understood the meaning of what I say.

Wednesday: When I think others may have misunderstood what I have said I check with them.

Thursday: When I am uncertain if others understand my meaning I ask.

Friday: When others do not understand what I say I do not get upset.

Saturday: When I have spoken to another, I ask them if they have heard my words and have any questions.

Sunday: When anyone tells me something, I summarize back what I think they said to check for accuracy.

Additional Notes

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Harmonizing Your Beliefs

Learn why conflicting beliefs cause us to be stressed. Learn how we can bring our conflicting beliefs into agreement with each other and remove the stress from our life.

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.

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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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