Dove with Branch
January 29, 2007 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, Regarding your answer to Frank from Alabama (12/18): I thought it would be helpful to Frank if you gave him some words to use when saying no. When someone asks you if you have time (or resources) to help, a useful phrases is, "Let me pray about that (then do) and I'll get back to you." This gives you some time to contemplate an appropriate response and check with other family members. You might instead say, "I'll need to check my schedule and get back to you." If you conclude you cannot help you might want to say, "Thank you for the opportunity, I cannot devote the time you need due to other commitments." OR "I wish I could help you out but finances are tight for me now, too." Remember, you are a valuable person. Schedule your calendar with time for yourself - to watch a movie, take a bubble-bath, catch up on some reading - It is okay to say you already have plans and you do not need to tell what those plans are. An appointment with yourself or your family is just as important as with someone else. Money for a much needed vacation or that new mower may not be able to wait while you help someone else out. Plan and budget for those types of items as well as for benevolence funds for others. That will give you a better handle on giving as well as let your family know they are important, too. - Sue from Kansas

Dear Sue, Thanks for the insights! – the Dean

Dear Dean, To the gentleman who just can't say no (Frank 12/18): I know how you feel, I work in a church and always want to help. Generally, I really enjoy it. On the flip side, I am also asking others to help a lot. During those times when I am overwhelmed or just unable to help out, I have realized that it is easier to say no if I give out a few other names of people who might help. I have also had to realize that, just maybe, someone else is meant to be a part of the project. A reminder to those who are asking for help...If you respect the feelings of your volunteers....they will be even more willing to help you in the future. –M Brookman at Lakin

Dear M Brookman, Thanks for expanding on my thoughts. I would also add: Always be appreciative of what others do for you, and let them know about it. You will both feel better. They will be more open to helping again as well. - 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

What if we elected politicians whose job was to decide for the best interest of our society as a whole, instead of the people who voted for them? Unless we are among the lucky, powerful or rich ones who win the election we end up the losers in our present way of choosing representatives. This means that most of us end up losers while the system continues to work to the benefit of the strong and the powerful. When we have opportunities to reduce that power by such things as reducing lobbying influence or campaign spending we often fail to take advantage of that opportunity. We have learned to focus on “What’s in it for me?”

The concern of the government and of those who govern should be primarily for our society as a whole. If it is not then it becomes divisive and wasteful. We will not have a peaceful and productive society until we focus on what is best for all of us, instead of what is best for us personally.

A good example of this is the desire to keep making weapons of war simply because someone will lose a job if we quit making them. Another good example is the concept many hold that if “Federal Money” is available then we should get it and spend it. We make our judgments based on the availability of the money rather than whether this is the most effective way to spend it. When we do this those who get the money win, and the rest of us lose. This is not a good way to run a society. Let’s start electing representatives who are good at deciding for the best interest of all and who at least hold the interests of all that they represent above the dictates of their party.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

In order to have World Peace we must first learn a way of living that allows us to always experience Personal Peace. Personal Peace comes from the way we view and respond to the world around us. Our own personal world and the way we feel about it is determined by the way we chose to respond rather than by what actually happens to us.

Whatever happens is simply what happens. How we choose to view it is determined by our own personal belief system, the way we look at things, and how we feel about all of the stuff that has happened to us in the past. How we feel, and how we respond to something always comes from our own personal choice that we make at the moment the event or thought occurs to us.

Most of us have learned to judge events as either good or bad and respond accordingly. This is the way our parents and the world have taught us how to deal with things. We are taught that we are supposed to feel bad, or angry, when certain things happen. Too often we make a judgment that things are bad and then respond from our negative emotions, instead of being able to calmly think about what happened before we choose how to respond. Emotional choices limit us to responses based on our past experiences and prevent us from using reasoning in choosing how we would like to respond.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think of the Love I receive from others.

Tuesday: Today I will listen with an open heart.

Wednesday: Today I will take time to be with my family.

Thursday: Today I take time to appreciate nature.

Friday: Today I act in kind and loving ways.

Saturday: Today I smile, have fun and laugh.

Sunday: Today I help someone in need.

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.

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 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