Dove with Branch
June 4, 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 a problem at work. People will never tell me the truth, even if it is important for me to know so that I can make the right decision. For example I need to know about our orders so I can determine how much material to buy. This upsets me and affects my performance. How can I get them to give me the correct figures? - Robert in Spokane

Dear Robert, Have a meeting and talk about it. Explain your need and learn about their problems. If you are not getting the right answers learn interpolate. The most important thing is to not let yourself to become upset by this problem. If it is out of your control accept it as something you need to become skilled in working with.- the Dean

Dear Dean, The people I work with are a very aggressive group! I am not aggressive and don't need to be as what I do in my job is primarily to support them. The problem is that they are always taking advantage of me. They ask me to do much of the work they should be doing, and then are rude if it's not done the way they think it should be done. If I suggest they should do it themselves they just get angry and complain that I am rude and lazy. How should I deal with this? Donna in WA

Dear Donna, Helping people is great if that is your job, or if you like doing that. If however it is upsetting you then you have a problem of dealing with the power issues of your fellow employees. Since this is extra work you have a choice of not doing it. If you like doing it then require that they appreciate and don't complain about it. Since you can choose not doing it, don't feel you must and don't be upset when someone asks - or when you tell them "sorry I can't help today." - 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

When we are growing up we are taught a belief system (way of thinking) by our parents, teachers, friends, government, etc. We then form opinions that differ slightly from our "lessons" because of our own individual personality. In other words, we believe and think the way we do because of the circumstances of our birth and environment.

The strange thing is, that when we see that this is the way people form beliefs we still look at these beliefs we hold as the only right way of doing things. More importantly we think that when other people do them differently or hold different values about them, that they are wrong. I believe the problem comes from the idea that our beliefs are truth and should be defended regardless of the arguments against them, even if they are producing unpleasant results in our life.

If we would recognize that a peaceful and enjoyable life is a desirable goal we would have a standard that would allow us to reevaluate our own personal beliefs, and change those that are not producing the best results in our life. Most of the pain and suffering we have in this life comes from the idea that we must follow our beliefs, and that we have no other positive choice. Be willing to give up old beliefs that do not serve you well in order to increase your quality of life. Any time you feel upset you should reevaluate the belief that caused you to feel that way.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

When parenting without anger you still need to discipline your children. You can, however, discipline them with love instead of anger. Children need to learn boundaries. They must learn the rules of our society. Teach them these things with love. Permissiveness is not love. And assertiveness is not anger. Model love for them, and they will see the value in not being fearful or angry. Remember, your child needs values, your time, and love; not things. Worthwhile values are imparted when you parent with love. The reward for this style of parenting is a happy and independent child with whom you will have a loving relationship for the rest of your life. Always, always, remember to treat your children with love.

Never accept anger from your child as appropriate behavior. Children learn to use anger when it is effective for them. They will keep using it as long as it works. Part of our job, as a parent is to not allow anger to be effective for our children. It is our job to show them a more effective way to deal with their problems. Whenever your child is angry, lovingly demonstrate to him or her that it is not appropriate behavior. Teach your child to find a more effective way of dealing with problems. As soon as your child is old enough to communicate verbally, teach them about expressing and dealing with their feelings.

Our children learn fear when we teach them that the world is a dangerous place, and that they must be fearful of dangerous things in order to protect themselves. Learn to teach them that this is a wonderful world in which good things happen when we are trusting and alert. Teach them to pay attention to provide for their well being, knowing that doing the best they can, will be enough.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how much you love your children.

Tuesday: Ask yourself if you are the best parent you can be.

Wednesday: Think about the times you get angry with your children. Ask yourself why you do that.

Thursday: Think about how you are the teacher for your child and how they learn their lessons from you.

Friday: Think about what your child can become if you teach him love and responsibility instead of fear and anger.

Saturday: Think about how you should respond when your child makes a mistake or becomes angry.

Sunday: Resolve to always teach and model love and responsibility to your child.

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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