Dove with Branch
June 5, 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, My mother is critical of the way I am raising my children. She feels that I am not paying them enough attention. I do as much as I possibly can for my children, but she never thinks I am doing enough. She is even upset with me because my children are not dressed properly. How can I get my mother to see that I am doing the best I can for my children? - Carol in Colorado

Dear Carol, Perhaps you canít - but that is not the point. As a parent your obligation is to do the best job of teaching your children as possible. Always give love, and the best solution you can find in any situation. When you are unsure, or are getting negative results seek guidance. We have a better understanding of parenting today than when you were a child. Seek advice when you are getting negative results or are uncertain what to do. Your obligation is to your children. Be respectful and loving to mom - but please donít take her advice unless you believe it is correct. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My wife always criticizes my choice in clothing. She doesnít think I dress properly. She often says I choose the wrong colors or patterns. She will keep after me until I give up and change into something that suits her. - Don in Portland

Dear Don, Perhaps your wifeís advice is helpful but, you are never obligated to take it, even if you look like a clown. If you think your wifeís advice is helpful learn to listen without being upset. Remember that you make the final choice. Find a nice way to say, ďI have considered but rejected your suggestion.Ē Tell her you value her advice, but even if she is right you want to continue to dress your way because it is important to you. - 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

There is currently a bill before congress to establish a United States Department of Peace. Its purpose is to provide practical, nonviolent solutions to the problems of domestic and international conflict. It would give the interest of peace a full cabinet position. We would have someone at the cabinet level dedicated full time to finding non-violent solutions to existing problems, both at home and abroad. Advocacy for peaceful solutions would become a part of the decision making process at the highest level.

The proposed bill contemplates funding at 2% of our defense budget. If we are successful in resolving just one conflict without violence it will be a cost saving measure. Violence is extremely costly in both human and physical resources. This is a small amount to spend in the search for less violence in our world.

This is a bill that deserves our serious consideration. We have a chance to take positive steps toward peace and non-violence both at home and abroad. Consider lending your support to this legislation. Visit the website for more information.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

The first step to true intimacy in a relationship is to know, and to become intimate with your self. Your self is what you bring to the relationship. If you donít know your self, or are ashamed of some part of it, you wonít be able to fully share your self with your partner. You will hide and protect unhealed wounds. You will not offer your self fully to another, as is required for true intimacy, unless you feel good about the self you are offering.

This means that we must make a journey into our own selves to learn about our defense mechanisms, to deal with our fears, and remove our anger. Only then can we reach the core of love that is at the heart of who we are.

This may seem like an impossible task, but it is not if we are willing to do the work. This is perhaps the greatest gift of our lifetime. A little work is such a small price to pay.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about my life as it is now. I think about the things that are important to me.

Tuesday: Today I think about why I like the things I do.

Wednesday: I think about the things that I wish were different in my life.

Thursday: I think about the changes I can make so that my life will be the way I want.

Friday: Today I think about the things I must learn, so that I can be what I want myself to be.

Saturday: I find the places I can learn the lessons I need in my life.

Sunday: I begin learning the things that allow me to like, and trust myself.

Additional Notes

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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