Dove with Branch
September 11, 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, Last year, we elected our Chief Executive of the Church. As he assumed his office, things started to happen with his leadership. One thing was very controversial that led to the unwanted departure of the leader in one of the congregations. Then he is not making the reports needed, not doing the things he is supposed to do, not reporting to office on time, etc. All these made his subordinates very upset with him. In order to calm down the angry feelings and indirectly teach our CEO to change his leadership styles, a conflict mediation and reconciliation seminar was held for one week attended by all staff and Board of Trustees. Then, a mediation took place and he promised to change. Several months after the training and mediation, his old self is surfacing again. Considering that he is our CEO, what must we, the subordinates do? He is supposed to be our model? Please help us! – Very Much Concern

Dear Very Much Concern, You have two problems. First is your CEO’s behavior, and second is your reaction to it. Apparently your CEO is not doing the job as expected. You have tried to work with him in making the necessary corrections, but he is responding in a passive aggressive way by agreeing to make the changes, but not actually continuing to do them. Perhaps you have done what you can do in this aspect, but you could do more by not responding to him in an angry way. The work needs to be done, and when you respond with anger you no longer put your best effort into getting the job done. First, examine your own position in this and determine what you need to do to remain positive and get the work done. Next, you need to remain assertive with your CEO and remind him that he MUST do his part, as he promised. Ask him what you can do to help him do his job. If he is unwilling or unable, you will want to replace him with someone who can. – the Dean

Dear Dean, I try to remain positive and I make it a point to give a cheery good morning to everyone I meet and everyone I work with. My problem is that they often do not respond in kind and this upsets me very much. How can I change my feelings about this? – Cheery Sal

Dear Cheery Sal, It is wonderful that you give your gift of cheer. But give it freely. Do not expect that others must accept it. Your gift is to be offered to the world without strings. It was offered to make the world better. Don’t demand in your own mind that your gift must be accepted by the other person. Allow them to feel negative if they so choose. - 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

The events of 9/11 were a significant event in world history that we do not want to have repeated. How well are we doing so far? We have entered into a “war against terrorism” so that those events will not be repeated. It seems more like punishment to those who have carried out or advocated violence against our country. Violence begets violence. We want to stop violence. Is punishment (or eradication) the best solution to preventing further problems?

If we really want to stop this from happening, we must try to understand why people hated us so much they were willing to give their own lives to punish us. Within their belief system, they have enough reason to hate us that they are willing to sacrifice their own lives to punish us for who we are and what we “have done” to them. If we want to solve the problem without more violence from them we must give up violence ourselves. We must not condemn their beliefs.

Respect their differences. Seek a way to live in a world where we accept and respect each others right to be, and to choose for ourselves. Let’s tell them this is the way we feel and that we seek a way to resolve our differences without imposing our beliefs on them. Let’s put the days of the crusades behind us and live together in an interesting new world.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

As we become more accepting, we stop demanding that things go a certain way. It is part of our nature to give and to receive love. When we demand things in a certain way, we are not giving love, and we seldom get love in return when we do.

Accept that there are many vantage points from which to look at the same thing. You can change your way of looking at things to a way that is in line with happiness. The choice is yours.

Perhaps you’re saying to yourself, “He is the one who makes me angry. I need to get him to change.” This attitude is guaranteed to produce anger. If you can’t accept your mate or your colleague or your child the way he or she is, your relationship is not going to be a happy one. There is something we must do in order to have a rewarding relationship. Choose to let go of every goal where your peace of mind depends on other people changing. Learn to think, “I love you just the way you are.”

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I choose to be accepting of the thinking and ways of others.

Tuesday: I understand that the beliefs of others are different from my own.

Wednesday: I realize that if I want others to like me I must like them.

Thursday: I realize that every problem has many positive solutions.

Friday: I desire happiness in my relationship with others.

Saturday: I offer happiness to others by respecting their beliefs.

Sunday: Think, “I love you just the way you are.”

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

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