Dove with Branch
September 18, 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 have a friend who has many troubles in her life and I always try to be there to help her. It seems that life never treats her fair. She needs someone to help and I do. The problem is that no matter how hard I try she doesn’t appreciate it. She asks for my advice, ignores it, and then blames me when it doesn’t work out. This leaves me feeling very hurt. How can I get her to appreciate what I do for her? – Arletta in San Carlos

Dear Arletta, You probably can’t. You can however learn not to expect or require her appreciation. You can learn to look at your advice as given with love and without “strings of appreciation” attached. If this doesn’t work for you, and you want to retain her as a friend, try telling her that you have no more advice to give, or that it is given only when appreciated. If you still feel a need to help, and to be appreciated, it might pay to find a different friend. Friendship should be based on love, and without stress. – the Dean

Dear Dean, I would like to add my personal experience and observations to theanswer you gave to “Worried Wife”: I was a "worried husband" whose wife traveled and was in show business where she was involved with many handsome men. After going to a therapist I discovered the reason I did not trust her was because I had no confidence and love for myself. I did not appreciate and love myself. I did not have the self respect and confidence in myself, so could not trust her. When another person is going to be unfaithful to you, they have lost their own integrity and belief in themselves first-not you. They are being unfaithful to themselves first. When you have unconditional love for yourself and your partner, you accept yourself and them for what they are! No matter what they do. Do you really love yourself and that person enough that no matter what they do, you love them and accept them for what they are, and not what you want them to be? That takes the "worry" out of the relationship and replaces it with love and trust. – David Van Meter

Dear David, Thank you for those insights from your personal experience. Congratulations! A relationship founded in fear and distrust can be worse than no relationship at all. - 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 see freedom as the right to do as we please without interference from others. We have the right to become more educated, choose our religious faith, and our form of government. We also have the right to know what is right and to fight for our causes. The problem with this concept of freedom is that it does not take into consideration the freedom of others. If they do not agree with our “right causes,” then we think they are wrong and must be corrected or submit to our will.

We need to expand our idea of freedom to include the right of freedom for other people. They have the same right to have causes and beliefs that are different than our own. We need to consider the right of other people to be free as important as our own right to be free!

Once we see freedom as something we create together we see the necessity of understanding the other person’s point of view instead of treating it as wrong. We don’t consider others just to be fair. We do so in our own self interest. When I realize my freedom depends on my ability to understand your thinking, I will pay more attention to and be more accepting of what you say and do.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

In dealing with others, the best rule is to start from a place of trust, realizing and accepting that you could be wrong. People tend to respond to you in the same way you act. You will receive far more trust if you offer trust. If you offer distrust, that is what you will usually get back.

In dealing with problems that need positive responses, we are more effective (and feel better) being assertive instead of aggressive. When we respond from our thinking, we choose a thought out response rather than an emotional one. We can be assertive and accomplish what we feel we must, without being angry. It is much easier to be assertive rather than aggressive if we have not set up some expectations that upset us when they are not met.

We need to learn to not let our peace of mind become dependent on what another person does. Except for adhering to the laws set down by our society, we have no right to expect that anyone act in a certain way, just as they have no right to require that from us.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I trust other people as being naturally truthful and caring.

Tuesday: I realize that if I trust other people I give them the opportunity to trust me.

Wednesday: I realize that good comes from trust.

Thursday: I realize that I can explain what I want others to do without being angry.

Friday: I choose to think before I respond.

Saturday: I realize that I do not have the right to control other people.

Sunday: Others have the right to reject my requests.

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.

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Taking Control of Your Life Part II

In Part I you learned how to stop being controlled by all of the events and people in your life. You also learned how to make the choices that will support the life you want to have. In Part II you will learn how to change all of the things in your life that you need to change for your life to be what you want it to be. Dean teaches you how to look at all of the aspects of your life and how to create a program that will make the changes you desire.

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.

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