Dove with Branch
July 17, 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 twenty year old son no longer lives with me. He still stops by with his friends on occasion. They often cook in my kitchen. I do not mind them using my food – but they leave dirty dishes and the kitchen in a mess! When I ask them to clean up we get in a shouting match. - Frustrated Mother

Dear Frustrated, Look at why you get into shouting matches with your son. This is an old problem that needs to be solved. Determine how you would like it to be, and what you need to do to make it that way. You have numerous possible solutions - all the way from cleaning up yourself as your gift for the companionship – to refusing to allow them to cook unless they do. If you set rules, enforce them with logical consequences and with love. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My mother is unable to care for herself and is living in an eldercare facility. She doesn’t have sufficient funds to provide for her care. My brother and I provide for her and my other sister refuses to help even though she is able. I am constantly upset that she refuses to help. How can I make her realize that she should help share the burden. - Mary in Baltimore

Dear Mary, You and your brother may remind your sister of what your mother has done for you all. You and you bother feel all of you should pull together to help. Your sister has no legal obligation. She is entitled to choose not to help. The next issue is do you want to lose your relationship with your sister because of this. The most important issue however, is that you need to forgive her so that you can experience peace in your own life. Hurting yourself because she has a different belief is a high price to pay. - 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 have developed a habit of thinking of people who have different concepts and ideas about how to solve our social problems as our enemies, and we spend our time telling them how stupid they are – and how smart we are. We think we are right and they are wrong. They would be wrong if they were required to look at the world the same way we do – but they are not.

In a democracy we get to keep our beliefs – but we vote on which particular solutions we use to govern our society. This concept requires that we accept the will of the majority and protect the rights of the minority – sometimes a difficult thing to do. If we want our society to be peaceful and productive we must accept our rules without resistance. If they don’t work out the way society expected we will get a chance to change them.

When we feel the existing rules are not working we would benefit far more from looking for new positive solutions that others will see value in - and promoting those ideas - than we would just trying to tear down the existing ways because we don’t like them. If the majority wants to do things differently than you or yours do accept it with good cheer. When we are in the majority let’s honor the other person’s point of view and allow him to do things his own way as much as possible.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

A constant source of problems is the conflict between the real world as it actually is and our concept of what we think the real world should be that we carry around in our head. I call this my real world file to remind me that it only represents my idea of what the world should be.

Regardless of how we want the world to be, and how we see it to be, the world is what the world is. The world works the way that it does regardless of our opinion of it. We may see it working in a certain way or desire that it works in a certain way, but this only changes our perception. Our perceptions and desires do nothing to actually change the world.

We may be able to make some changes in the world through our actions, or by changing the thinking of others, but that is the only way we can actually affect how the world is. Our thinking itself does nothing to change the world.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about how I would like things in the world to be.

Tuesday: I think about how things in the world actually are.

Wednesday: I accept that is okay for the world to be the way that it is.

Thursday: I decide what thing in the world that I may help change in some way.

Friday: I decide what new idea would be better for the world.

Saturday: I develop my concept of how I can get the world to pay attention to my idea.

Sunday: I dedicate myself to making a positive change in the world.

Additional Notes

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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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Dean Of Peace | P.O. Box 535 | Elmira, OR | OR | 97437