Dove with Branch
May 29, 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, I read your newsletter which is very helpful to me. I read deeply and try to find some good things for my life. I am unable to make the people I work with happy. I try to the best of my knowledge, but I donít know what to do. Please tell me how I can make them happy? - Trying to Be Liked

Dear TBL, Making them happy is not the most important thing for you to do. Make yourself happy by being the best person you know how to be. Always do the loving thing and offer love to others. They sometimes wonít see the value in that because of problems they have in their own lives. Always offer your best and choose your friends and relationships (including work), from those who are able to appreciate what you have to offer. First and foremost appreciate yourself for who you are, and trust that you will find others who will learn to appreciate you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I am engaged to a man who is very loving and considerate most of the time. When we go to a movie I suggest movies that I would like to see, and he suggests movies as well. The problem is that he will never go to movies that I suggest. He will only go to the ones he suggests. He is pretty much that way about where we eat, and our other entertainment as well. How can I get him to change this behavior? B.J. in Great Falls

Dear B.J., You may not be able to change his behavior, but tolerating behavior that you are unhappy with is not a positive course to follow. If he is unwilling to compromise, that will be your future in the relationship. Do not enter into a relationship hoping for change. Let him know what is acceptable for you, and if he doesnít comply end the relationship. This may seem difficult, but it is easy when compared to trying to fix, or endure a relationship that is not satisfactory. - the Dean

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Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

All too often when we have a problem in our society we think we can solve it simply by spending more money. We think we can get better government, or solutions to our social issues, just by hiring more people or paying higher salaries which will attract better people. More of the same is not always the best answer.

If the methods we are using or the people we are hiring cannot solve the problem, we would be better served by first identifying the problem. We often spend much time searching for better results without really understanding why things are happening the way they are.

For example, our educational system is not producing the results we desire for our children. Instead of just hiring more teachers, letís take a serious look at what we are doing now, and look for ways to be more effective. Our society is complex and requires skills beyond the three Rís. Are we teaching our children the skills they need to produce the quality of life that we desire for them? Just what are the qualities we want our children to learn for their lives? How can we provide a good education when we donít even know the answers to these questions?

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

The opposite of aggression is not passivity. To not respond with anger doesnít mean to not respond at all. You donít need to be passive to avoid anger. Learn to be assertive, and state your position clearly and strongly. We do not have to act out of our negative emotions to make our point, or to do what we think is the right thing. Being passive, and not asserting ourselves, is a sure way to invite anger.

Some people confuse being kind with being passive, but those attitudes are not at all the same. Being passive is just going along with what the other person wants you to do. Being kind is to consider the feelings and needs of the other person. We can assertively state our position with full consideration of the other person and their needs, thus showing kindness and friendliness. The only caveat is that you make sure that what you are doing or saying is exactly what you want in your life, including the effect your behavior has on other people.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the effect my anger has on other people.

Tuesday: I think about the affect that not expressing what I am feeling, or thinking, has on me.

Wednesday: I think about the affect not expressing my feelings has on other people.

Thursday: I think of ways to express my thoughts to others in a friendly and positive way.

Friday: I think about ways to express exactly how I feel to others.

Saturday: I learn to think about the effect the way I respond has on another person.

Sunday: I pay attention so that I am saying exactly what I want to say.

Additional Notes

This weeks phone seminar.

The relationship is a third party: Learn how you can create a healthier, happier relationship by creating the relationship as a separate entity that you both work together to nurture and support. Learn how both parties can deal with the relationship in a positive and supportive way.

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 ďInsights from the Dean of PeaceĒ 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.

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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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