Dove with Branch
December 4, 2006 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Hello! - Dean Van Leuven

This weekly newsletter is available free by subscription. All copies for the year are available on my website.

If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who you think may enjoy it as well, please feel free to share it with them

Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I am getting married again and would like to use my old bridal gown. My intended is happy with that but my sister, my mother, and my best friend all tell me that it would be improper because it represents my first marriage and because white is not appropriate for a second marriage. I guess the question I have is would it be appropriate when others close to me feel it is not. – Kelly in Palmdale

Dear Kelly, Is this wedding for the couple or for their friends would be the question. Only you and your intended can answer that question. If it is important to you that you wear it, then why not wear it; unless of course your friend’s opinions are more important to you than your own. You have valued relationships with each of those people. You should make your own decisions based on your own beliefs. Consider their requests, but make a decision based on what is right for you and your fiancée. You might explain that this is the “something old” you have chosen to honor that tradition. We do not need to honor old traditions and we should not let ourselves be controlled by others. We should however be considerate to the concerns of our friends. If you decide not to take their advice tell them so in a loving way. – the Dean

Dear Dean, My wife died of cancer almost two years ago. I still miss her very much and am quite comfortable living alone at this time, as I have lots friends to spend my time with. My children and my brothers and sisters are all telling me how much I need female companionship and are urging me to date. They have even gone so far as to tell me they are worried that people will think I am gay when I only spend time with male friends. – Arnold in Utah

Dear Arnold, Worrying that you are gay of course is nonsense as it is your business and not theirs. Also it is your business whether or not you choose to have female companionship. They care about you and are offering advice from their heart with what they think you should do. Be thankful that they care, then make up your own mind and follow what your heart tells you to do. The answer you choose should always be based on your own thinking and feeling after you have considered all of the information you feel you need. - 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

There are three kinds of relationships. The first is the "I and others" relationship where we look at others as different and separate from ourselves. It is the “us against the world” relationship. Many of us spend most of our time in this kind of relationships. When we do life seems like a struggle. If we are not battling to get to the top of the heap, we are using all of our energy to survive. Unless we are one of the few winners, this kind of relationship is not very enjoyable to us. It often makes life seem empty, even for the winners.

The second kind of relationship is the “I – You” relationship. In this relationship we begin to care about others as well as ourselves. We become concerned for the wellbeing of others, especially those we have chosen as friends. These relationships are very enriching in our life, except when we enter into them with someone who is looking at it as an “I and others relationship”. An example is the partner who refuses to go to counseling when differences cannot be resolved satisfactorily.

The third kind of relationship is the “We” relationship where the relationship becomes the entity and we become the participants in it. We are in this together. The goal we are working for is a successful relationship. Instead of the object being a way to make me happy, it becomes a way to make “We” happy. These are the most rewarding kind of relationships. When most of our relationships become this way we will find personal peace and create peace in our society.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If we are going to have World Peace it is something we must create together. As long as we impose what we think is right, even if we truly believe that it is right for other people, we will not find peace.

Peace can only come from within the individual. Peace cannot be imposed on people. No matter how enlightened some concept or philosophy may seem if it is not embraced by most individuals it will not create peace. It is the nature of humans to resist the things they do not understand or accept. If a concept is not accepted by society then that concept will not survive peacefully because we humans will continue to resist what we do not accept of our own free will. Thus the great revolutions we see in our history.

However true this is, it remains the nature of mankind to seek peace. To humans, love feels good, and fear and anger feel bad. We grew up in a world where the strong have dominated the weak. In our early society, before we had laws, strength; either individually, or that of the community or nation was the way we survived. Tribes banded together for their survival. Other tribes who were more aggressive banded together to provide for themselves by taking from the weaker and less aggressive tribes. We now understand enough to achieve more positive social solutions.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the times you try to get other people to do things the way you think they should be done.

Tuesday: Think about the times other people try to get you to do things the way they think they should be done.

Wednesday: Think about what it could be like if other people accepted your way of doing things.

Thursday: Think about what it would be like if other people accepted doing things the way you wanted them to.

Friday: Think about what it would be like if you were each free to choose your own way of doing things.

Saturday: Think what it would be like to negotiate differences with the object of freedom for each.

Sunday: Resolve to fully respect the differences of others in all relationships in your life.

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

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Giving your Fears the Power of Reason

When we are fearful we don't think very well. Learn how to shift your thought processes from your emotions to your reasoning center even while you are affected by negative emotions.

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 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.

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

Remember if you want the free e- book and phone seminars you must subscribe to this newsletter at the website.

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

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361
Join our mailing list!

Forward email

This email was sent to, by
Powered by

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