Dove with Branch
March 5, 2007 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 am a middle aged high school teacher in North Carolina. My students will sometimes ask me my age. I try to joke with them, but they are insensitive to my feelings. How can I get them to stop asking? Ė Carolina Teacher

Dear Carolina Teacher, Stop caring! Why should you want to hide your age? It is something to be proud about, not ashamed of. If you donít want to answer the question that is fine, but they have the right to ask the question, unless you tell them it is not a question they may ask in your class. The fact you are sensitive about your age is your problem; not theirs. Examine why you have this problem. If you are upset by such a simple request you have an issue it would be helpful to pay attention to. Ė the Dean

Dear Dean, People often insult me by saying I am so short they can see the bald spot on the top of my head. I am sensitive to my height, or lack thereof, and do not like being reminded about it. How should I respond so that people will stop teasing me about it? Ė Robert C.

Dear Robert, Accept their comments with a smile. It would be good to laugh with them if you can learn to laugh about it yourself. The fact you are shorter than other people should be no reason to depreciate yourself. We canít enjoy life in this world until we learn to accept things as they are. Shortness is not a real quality of personal worth. Give up the idea that it is. What other people think of you is their business and not yours. Give up the idea that you obtain your value from what they think of you. - 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 say we are a free society but what do we mean by that? When someone is curious about our age, for instance, do we give them the emotional freedom to ask; or are we upset by their question? I believe freedom should include giving people the right to be the way they want to be without emotionally attacking them or resisting them, just because you donít like what they are doing.

People who are raised in different cultures have different values. Since we are a multi- cultural society we have a lot of different and sometimes conflicting values in our common society. Instead of embracing and respecting those values that are different than our own, we often judge them. We sometimes go so far as to try to eliminate the way others do things just because we donít think they are appropriate.

If we are going to honor freedom then letís give up the idea of creating a ďcookie cutterĒ society and embrace the differences. If you are uncomfortable with the values of others consider honoring and accepting them instead of resisting and trying to change them. Freedom includes embracing the rights of others to be how they want to be. We have come a long way. Women have the right to vote. We all get to eat in the same restaurant. Letís give up the idea of trying to make others do something just because we think it is the way things should be done. We can only enjoy life when we allow all others the opportunity to enjoy life as well!

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can accept disagreement without being disagreeable in return. We donít have to require that we be treated well. We can accept the way other people treat us, in the sense that we donít get upset about it. We can assert our boundaries and refuse to accept the other personís position, without getting angry or upset. If we believe in our self and our own truths, then we can let the other person have their own truths, and just refuse to be affected by them.

Do we want to be happy, or do we want to be right? Whenever we are attached to being right, we are convinced the other person is wrong and we are right. As long as we cannot accept the idea that maybe they are also right, or at least realize that it just doesnít matter, we canít be free of our negative emotions or experience happiness and peace of mind. The more we accept the other personís reality as being authentic, the less upset we become.

As we become more accepting, we stop demanding that things go a certain way. It is part of our nature to want to give and receive love. When we demand things be a certain way, we are not giving love, and we seldom receive love in return when we donít give it. We get even less love when we give anger in return.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I allow others to have their beliefs.

Tuesday: Today I take time to relax and enjoy.

Wednesday: Today I am grateful for peacemakers.

Thursday: Today I do the work that is mine to do with a glad heart.

Friday: Today I take time to do a kind deed.

Saturday: Today I tell a co-worker something about them that I appreciate.

Sunday: Today I focus on the positive.

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: Reconciling Your Conflicting Beliefs

Learn how we create stress in our life with the conflicting beliefs that we hold. Learn how to recognize your conflicting beliefs. Learn how to harmonize your beliefs and remove the stress from your life.

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 ďInsights from the Dean of PeaceĒ you are entitled to two free phone seminars to use at your convenience.

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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


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