Dove with Branch
August 7, 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, We have been married seven years, and I never argue with my wife. I just listen carefully, make up my own mind, and do what I think is the right thing without any discussion. You would think never arguing with her would make us closer, but it doesn’t seem to work. She still gets upset with me. What do you suggest? – Confused Spouse

Dear Confused, Just avoiding arguments doesn’t create love. When you ignore your wife you are disrespecting her as a person and a partner. Your passive/aggressive behavior is just making things worse. Respect her thinking. If you have a difference don’t just ignore it. Instead discuss it and at the very least agree to disagree. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My husband goes on business trips with others in his office, and some of them are women. I have never found any specific reason to worry. But, this kind of situation is dangerous. I have asked him to find other work, but he refuses. What should I do? – Worried Wife

Dear Worried Wife, Trust him! If you don’t trust him it will only move you further apart in your relationship. Also it will make it more likely that he will find comfort in others. A loving relationship is based on love; and love is founded in trust. Why would you want him if he wants someone else? Trusting him will encourage him to be the mate you desire. Why settle for less by trying to control his conduct to be what you want it to be? - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments 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 worry about anthrax, a threat that kills almost no one, more than we do about influenza which kills about a quarter of a million people a year. Threats that are new, sudden, and more dramatic trouble us much more than those we have grown up with, and learned to accept.

How can we learn to evaluate the threat instead of the fear? I call this “keeping things in perspective.” We need to stop when we are upset by something that is happening, or we fear will happen, and compare it with the other dangers and fears in our lives. Always ask yourself the question, “How important is this anyway?”. Whenever you feel caught up in the drama of what is happening, or are upset with what is happening around you, stop and ask yourself that question.

When we learn to keep things in perspective it allows us to be more accepting of our world, and what is happening in it. If we ask what we can do about something, and the answer is nothing, then learn to let go of the worry associated with it. When you choose to worry when you can do nothing, the only thing you accomplish is making yourself upset.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to perceive information that supports the beliefs that we have. First of all, we take note of the information presented to us that validates our beliefs, and often fail to notice things that do not. Next, we interpret the information we receive in a way that is consistent with our existing beliefs, and often fail to notice things that do not. For example, we always interpret a close call in a sporting event in the light most favorable to our team.

What if this wasn’t necessarily the case? What if we considered information in light of other people’s beliefs? And what if we always looked at things from other points of view before making a decision? In order to win at trial, lawyers are trained to carefully examine the other point of view. If they do not, they will not be prepared to respond with the best argument for their case.

Likewise you can learn to examine the information you receive from the point of view of all possibilities. This allows you to choose responses that are more effective and are more in tune with the way the world works. The more effective your responses are, the happier your life will be.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I notice how I always agree with my own thinking.

Tuesday: I think about the possibility that other’s beliefs are as valid as mine.

Wednesday: Any time I take notice of something I try see if there are other possible ways of thinking about it.

Thursday: I ask myself how others think about the things that concern me.

Friday: I examine other points of view to understand why others reach a different conclusion.

Saturday: I accept the beliefs of others as valid for them.

Sunday: I create harmony between my beliefs and the beliefs of others.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of A Peaceful New World and many other books dealing with quality of life issues. Contact him on the web at:

Additional Notes

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.

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.

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Hung up on heritage? (How our personal history influences us)

Learn how we rely on things in the past to create our beliefs. Learn how it controls your life when you let it. Learn how to determine when you need to release parts of your heritage.

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


Contact Information

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