Dove with Branch
October 9, 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, Dear Dean, I have an office manager that likes to hug me when I come to work in the morning, and he usually has bad breath which makes it even more unpleasant. I am afraid that if I refuse to be hugged that I might lose my job. What do you suggest? Ė Arla in Denver

Dear Arla, Hugs can be wonderful! However we always have the right to accept or reject them. Donít let a fear of losing your job stop you. Donít be upset with him for hugging you, unless he knows you donít like it. Even if you had no legal rights, which you do, it is better to find work where you are happy than to stay there. Start by telling him in an assertive manner that you donít like to be hugged, and will accept it no longer. If that doesnít work, talk to his boss. Pursue any other remedy that is open to you within the company. If that doesnít work, then decide to leave or seek a legal remedy. Weigh the emotional costs of legal proceedings, make a choice, and move on to better things. Ė the Dean

Dear Dean, I have been married twice and both marriages have failed. I have found a wonderful man who is attentive and I love very much. However, my experience has been that things change once you marry. I am afraid to try again, I canít stand another failure, but I am lonesome. Should I consider marriage? How can I make sure it would be successful? ĖTwice Disappointed

Dear Twice Disappointed, If you want to consider marriage you should. Can you make sure it is successful? - No. Your first marriages gave you lessons. You can learn from the lessons, or repeat the mistakes. Some of them may have to do with choice, some with expectations, and some with your own behavior. Donít remarry until you have learned new thinking and behavior that will resolve those issues. Donít remarry because of need. Learning to be okay with being alone creates freedom in your relationship. - 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

In order to live together in peace we require some sort of rules governing our conduct so we know what is expected of ourselves, and others. We do this when we pass the laws of our city, county, state and national governments. Without those laws and our acceptance of them we would have anarchy. Those laws are based on the will of the majority, and the rights of the individual.

A problem often arises because we donít fully accept this system. If we donít like a particular law we resist, or ignore it. When new enforcement measures are instituted we support them if we like the law, and resist them if we donít. When we donít like the law, we resist the idea of using new technology to catch violators.

For example, we supported the use of DNA testing because it caught murders and rapists. We all agreed that they were bad. They are now introducing new laser technology to measure the distance between cars to enforce the tailgating laws. Tailgating is a serious problem. It causes unnecessary death on the highway. Preventing tailgating saves lives. Just because we have a bad habit of violating the law doesnít mean we should resist its enforcement. When we determine the law has value letís support its enforcement. If you donít care about your own protection that is one thing, but this law is there for the protection of your neighbors and friends. Obey it and you have no reason to resist enforcement.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

There is a more effective way to deal with negative situations in your life. Regardless of the circumstances you come up against, the individuals you must deal with, the aggravating situations you find yourself in, you can learn to choose a response other than anger.

When you no longer react with anger, what will happen? You will be able to think clearly. You will be able to respond effectively, with the best possible responses that your rational mind can create, in each situation that you face. You will no longer feel depressed, because you will be living life in a way that makes you feel good about yourself. You will be free to fully enjoy your life. You will face each new day with an eager anticipation of what is to come.

Joy, happiness, contentment, and peace with the world and those around you; these positive states of mind are what await you, once you leave anger behind. But getting to such an emotional state is not an easy journey. Is it worth it? For those who have made such a journey, the answer is a resounding, OH YES!!

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the problems anger has created for me.

Tuesday: I think about how I feel upset when I am angry.

Wednesday: I think about how I feel depressed when I get angry.

Thursday: I think about how I feel when I am happy.

Friday: I think about how much more effective I am when I am not angry.

Saturday: I think about how much better I feel when I am not angry.

Sunday: I resolve to no longer get angry.

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.

Past issues of this newsletter for the year 2006 are archived on my website.

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