Dove with Branch
April 02, 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, Thanks for your terrific newsletter. I look for it each week and always benefit from your insight. In regard to feeling good or being happy vs. the need to be right, I have found that for some people, being "right" is what makes them feel good! It is, of course, about power, which is about underlying fears. I have found that the best way for me to deal with this is to acknowledge their opinion and then change the subject; end the conversation, or, in some cases if this is chronic behavior, limit or even end the relationship. My natural tendency is to be a peacemaker, and your observations and insights have helped me reinforce the belief that I don't need to be right. I was considering taking your New Year's message to a gathering because I thought the people there could stand to hear your views about peace, when I realized that if I did that, it would reflect my own need to be right! We learn something every day! Thanks again for your peaceful energy to the world. Namaste! – Lucy Waibel

Dear Lucy, Thank you so much for your helpful comments and your supportive words. Namaste! – the Dean

Dear Dean, My husband and I have been married for 15 years. I have been very candid and clear what I expect from him as a husband, which is, support in disciplining our children, responsibility for our family, and for me, love and affection. I ask that he tell me good night before bed, just as he does for the kids, and 95% of our married life he lays down and goes to sleep with not so much as a word to me. I feel like he wants a room mate to take care of his children and do the chores. He never holds my hand, whether at home or in public, and intimacy occurs on average 3 times a month. I can't make it any clearer to him what I need, and I have asked him to tell me what he needs too, to which he usually responds, "I can't think right now". I can't do it anymore, should I live a life without love or intimacy just to keep a father in my children's lives, which, by the way, are all boys?? I have never cheated and his time is always accounted for, so I am sure he has not either. - Michelle

Dear Michelle, The basic rule when we are faced with problems in life is: Accept it, Change it, Leave it – or Accept it. You have made efforts for change and have not been successful. You may consider putting more emphasis on getting answers from him about the possibility of creating a relationship that is acceptable to both of you, including outside counseling. If that doesn’t work you must make a choice that takes into consideration the interest of all including your children. No matter what your choice you are right that the relationship between your husband and children is important. You may actually be able to create a better relationship for the children by changing your relationship with your husband. You are faced with one of life’s difficult problems. Look for a loving solution with an open heart and mind. Whatever answer you choice accept is with love. – 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

I have been reflecting on a difficult question this week. It is; when we are an activist seeking positive solutions for creating peace how do we work with and identify with those who are seeking peace by resisting all of the violence in the world? When I seek change only by searching for positive solutions and not simply by resisting what I think is wrong, how to I interact with those who are seeking change through resistance to what is?

The answer, I think; is contained in the fact that we are all in this life together. And that includes those who are using violence to achieve their objectives. Human society has a universal interest in maximizing our life experience. Since we are in this experience together, we should all be talking to each other all of the time, no matter what the circumstances.

We should state our truth and the reason for it, clearly, listen openly and respectfully to the truth of others. We need to remember they have as much right to their truth as we have to ours. We should always respond in a loving way and be willing to accept the consensus decision of the group, even if we don’t agree with it. We may continue to work for change by getting others to understand the value of the position we hold in a positive way. Let’s all stand together whether we agree with each other or not! Since we will never all agree, the only way to have peace is to agree to disagree and accept the other person’s point of view as valid him. Remember that what everyone wants most in the world is to be loved – to be accepted as a good and loving person!

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If we think we must have a certain result, then we are addicted to the outcome. If we desire a certain result, we have a preference. If we have no preference as to what the results will be then it is easy to be accepting. If we are accepting, then we have no negative emotions attached to the event or to the outcome. We can also learn that we do not have to be emotionally attached to the outcome, even when we have a preference. We can accept the idea that we are willing to try things the other person’s way.

For everything that happens in our life, there are three possibilities: (1) We can change it, (2) We can leave it, or (3) We can accept it. With each event in our life we need to make this choice. For example; consider your work. You may not be happy with it just the way it is. Is there a way you might change it to make it better? If that is not possible, then your next choice might be to leave it. That may not be possible for the present, because you may need the work in order to eat, or pay the rent. You then can choose to accept your work, or you may choose to make a plan to change to new employment in the future. If you choose to make a change later, then you need to make the decision to accept your work for now. As with all of life’s experiences, if we don’t find a way to make our work experience a positive one, then we are left with negative emotions in our lives.

To remove any anger or other negative emotions from your life, you need to apply this principle of change it, leave it, or accept it each time you need to make a choice. The important thing is to remember that if you can’t change something and are not going to leave it that the only choice left for you is to accept it.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I release all anger from my life.

Tuesday: Today I celebrate my commitment to live in peace.

Wednesday: Every day I join others in a prayer for world peace.

Thursday: Today I accept the viewpoints of others as valid for them.

Friday: Today I agree to understand the viewpoints of others.

Saturday: Today I choose to feel loving toward those whom I disagree with.

Sunday: Today I choose to love the world and appreciate my life experience.

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: Laughing Your Way to a good life

We cannot be humorous and angry at the same time. Laughter is the medicine that takes away our (and others) anger. Learn how to always look at the funny side of life. Learn how use humor to make life better for you and those around you.

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.

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