Dove with Branch
November 13, 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 suggestion for you and your readers when it comes to relationships. Look at the book by Harville Hendricks called "Getting the Love you Want". The problem is within our selves, as you suggested in your reply to Twice Disappointed (10/09). Of course it takes BOTH people in the relationship to do the work, not just one. Quakers have a process called a "clearness committee" which helps Friends to discern their leadings from their "wants". It is a very complex, yet simple process anyone could use. You can find information about it at the Quaker website under library/fostering meetings. - Free Polazzo

Dear Free, Thank you for that helpful information. Loving relationships are made, not born. We can all have a loving relationship if we want one. We just need to find someone who wants a loving relationship also, and is willing to work with us to create one. There are many books, workshops and other materials that will help you. Find the ones that you resonate with. Do the work and you will be rewarded with a loving relationship. I teach a process where the two of you create, and relate to the relationship as a third party that you both work together to create and to manage. Remember you can’t get love without giving love. – the Dean

Dear Dean, My brother and I have promised never to tattle on each other. I believe it is important to keep my word. My brother is using meth. He says he can’t let it go. He is addicted to it. But I have made my promise and feel I must keep it. What should I do in this situation? – Not a Tattletale

Dear Not a Tattletale, Take a look at your belief system. All beliefs are subject to exceptions and priorities. Which is the more important belief to you? Is it more important to be concerned with your brother’s well being than it is to keep your word to him? Which do you view as the greater obligation? You are most likely more concerned with his well- being or you wouldn’t be writing this letter. We always have conflicts between our beliefs. That is what life is all about. Make the choice for what you believe is the greater good. Next accept your answer with confidence that you have done the right thing according to your beliefs. If it still bothers you, take the time to be clear about why you have made the choice you did. If you do not learn how to make this kind of decision comfortably, your life will be filled with stress. - 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 humans have a great power of rationalization. We have the ability to see a particular event or set of facts in a way that supports our position. We find this of such great value that we even have debate teams in school where we learn and compete at this skill. We think that it is more important for our point of view to prevail than it is to determine the facts about something. The points that don’t agree with our view we twist or ignore.

Why do we do this? I believe it is because we live in a world where power is more important than truth. He who has the power gets all the “goodies” regardless of the truth of the matter. That is the way we have created our society. Because of this, the power of persuasion is an important skill in our society. When we have this viewpoint, prevailing over others is more important than being at peace with others.

If we are going to create a peaceful world society, we must learn to replace this old way of thinking with a viewpoint that both searches for the truth and respects the viewpoint of others. When we are all trying to prevail over others, when we are not willing to accept less, there is no possibility of peace. Peace cannot be obtained through power! That is why so many of us think that peace is not possible. We can have peace when we are willing to accept not having it “our way” all of the time. Change our goal and we can find peace. As it is sometimes said, we need to shift from the love of power to the power of love.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

When we respond with humor, we are able to actually change something that may feel negative into something that feels positive to us, and to others as well. By using humor, we’re telling ourselves that we refuse to take things too seriously. Humor reduces the seriousness of your thoughts. It shows that you can laugh at your failures.

Humor laughs at your failures, but in an accepting and tolerant way. It helps you see another side of things. It reveals to you that, whatever misfortune or catastrophe has landed on your doorstep is not the end of the world. Humor is a love based emotion. When you use it you avoid feeling negative emotions.

Speakers invariably use humor to get the attention of their audience. They do this because of its powerful positive effect. Because most people like to laugh, humor tends to get the other person to accept what you are saying or doing in a positive way. When you use humor, it creates a positive feeling for your ideas in the hearts and minds of others. When used effectively, it is a powerful and wonderful tool. Learn to use it effectively and more happiness and joy will creep into your life; and those around you as well.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Decide to think that life is fun, and funny.

Tuesday: Decide to no longer take things too seriously.

Wednesday: Today read the comics in your newspaper and find something to laugh at in each one of them.

Thursday: Create an original joke and tell it until someone laughs.

Friday: Resolve never to be offended by jokes made in good humor.

Saturday: Practice finding humor in everything that is said today.

Sunday: Learn to look for and respond with appropriate humor in any situation.

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