Dove with Branch
May 7, 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 have noticed that in recent years people have developed a great deal of informality in business. People in business have earned the respect that goes with their position through hard work. They should be paid the respect they are due. It seems like these days even the mail boy thinks it’s okay to call the boss by his first name. I see letters and e-mails saying hi to me. I think I deserve more respect than that. – The boss

Dear Boss, It is your company, you can probably have it any way you want it. However, the person who calls you by your first name may feel that he is respecting you by considering you his equal and his friend when using your first name. He wants friendship - you want respect. You are the boss; decide how you want it in your company. When you are doing that, think about what will be the most productive and friendliest working conditions for your employees. You may want to reconsider the idea that people owe you something just because of your position. – the Dean

Dear Dean, A fellow worker in my office is trying to get ahead by stepping on other people. He claims credit for the work of others and blames others for his own mistakes. This is frustrating because to my supervisor it makes me look like I am not doing a good job. How do I solve this problem? Carl in Ohio

Dear Carl, By doing nothing about it! If you enter into the game your fellow worker is playing, it will only cause you more trouble. Your supervisor is not stupid, and will be able to figure out what is going on. You both will ultimately be recognized for what you are contributing. Don’t let this negatively affect your performance. Do you’re best and if it isn’t recognized in a positive way then you need to find a place to work where it will be. – 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

As humans banded together; at first in small communities and then in ever larger social structures we developed rules about how we should live and function together. These are the rules that have become the laws and traditions which determine how our society functions. These structures were created at a time when we were concerned primarily with our safety and when we had little trust that others would follow the rules voluntarily.

We developed solutions that did not look beyond the immediate problem we were trying to solve and did not contemplate changes that would occur in the future. Conditions changed and needs changed but rules changed only a little. Our rules and laws are bound by the traditions of the past that are difficult to change.

We need to exam these structures in some detail to determine possible changes that will bring them into harmony with our objective of creating a harmonious framework for our society. Our objective is to create a framework that will make it possible for each of us on this planet to experience a peaceful and joyful life. In working to create peace we need to examine each of our society's operating systems to determine their goals and purpose. We need to discover the stresses and obstacles created by the way they presently function. We need to have a general understanding of the functioning and objectives of each of these areas. This will allow us to be able to create productive changes that will help to align these systems more closely with our need to function effectively and to be creative in a Peaceful World.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

When entering into a marital or partnering relationship consider the idea of the partners actually creating the relationship as a third party. When you do this, you are able to look at the relationship in a more detached and objective way. The relationship takes on a life of its own. The two of you are working together to create a separate entity which is the relationship itself.

You can look at what each of you want the relationship to be and what each of you is able to bring to the relationship. This allows you to be able to discuss the health of the relationship without taking it so personally. You have now created a model of what you want the relationship to be in some detail. And you have a method you can use once you enter into the relationship for examining the stresses without criticizing the other partner.

During the relationship you will be able to quickly identify when any of the initial goals or contributions by either party have changed; and what work needs to be done to make it well. Also, you are more able to focus on the issues without personal incrimination and to negotiate change where needed. It is easier to focus on creating what you want. When something goes wrong you can more easily focus on what is wrong and how to fix it because you have already agreed about how you want it to be.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about your vision of your relationship with your partner.

Tuesday: Think about your partners’ vision of the relationship.

Wednesday: Work with your partner to create a common vision of the relationship that is acceptable to both of you.

Thursday: Think about the things you need to do to realize that vision.

Friday: Think about the things you believe your partner should do to support the partnership.

Saturday: Discuss a plan for each of you to reach the goals of the partnership.

Sunday: Rejoice in the enjoyment of a common vision and a united 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

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