Dove with Branch
June 25, 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 junior in high school. My parents will not give me the money to go to Mexico with my Spanish class. They pay more attention and give more to my sisters than they do to me. I don't want to live at home anymore. How can I get them to pay more attention to me? - Harold in Modesto

Dear Harold, It doesn't sound like a good reason to leave home. It does sound like a good reason to have a discussion with them. Without being angry or upset find out why they don't want to send you to Mexico with your class. Explain pleasantly why you think it would be valuable for you to go. Respect their answer. Your parents are your teachers and guardians for now. They are responsible for your care and education. You should respect their choices. Very soon you will be making your own decisions. Try to learn and understand why they make the decisions they do. As harsh as it seems, you are not entitled to fairness. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My friends at school are able to wear the latest fashions. My parents will not let me wear them because they say that they are too revealing. If don't wear them I won't be accepted by my friends. How can I get my parents to buy me the latest fashions? They are important to me. - Cara in SC

Dear Cara, Tell your parents why you want the new clothes and what it feels like to you not having them - and then accept their answer. Your parents are teaching you a certain way of life that they believe is important. Respect their wishes and learn from the lessons they are teaching. It will help you to make better decisions when you are on your own. - 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

One by one the dictatorships and monarchies of the world are slowly fading away. As the people become more educated and are able to make better decisions for themselves they are more able to provide for their own governance and less tolerant of others controlling the wealth and quality of life in their country. People are becoming more aware of how others live and are demanding that they be free to have those things in their life.

A most recent example of this process is the Country of Nepal which is voting this very month to adopt a new constitution with a representative form of government. What is so remarkable is that they accomplished this with a revolutionary movement that remained nonviolent.

We are learning that we can create positive change more effectively through nonviolence than through war. Once this lesson sinks in to the people of the world we will find a way to replace the despots of the world with freely elected governments to carry out the will of the people. When we realize that we create a better life by living in peace than we do by wasting our resources on telling other people how they must live their lives, we will find a way to work together to create a meaningful and lasting peace in the world. We the people are evolving! With our evolution comes the understanding that we are all in this together. We now know that war does not bring peace. That war only brings more war is a lesson we have learned from history.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We feel upset when we don't deal with unfinished business from the past. As we continue to hold onto our anger, our unforgiving thoughts become the cause of our suffering, and we continue to hurt. The only remedy for this pain and resentment is forgiveness. We can be free of suffering by letting go of the past. Becoming a happy person is really not possible until you free yourself from your anger and forgive.

If you find yourself fearful that what has happened in the past will happen in the future, try taking the opposite attitude - that things will be better now that you have learned the lesson inspired by the negative experience. Which attitude is the most productive- holding onto anger and being miserable, or practicing forgiveness and learning from the experience? Why not consider the person who "wronged you" as a teacher? If you look upon them as a teacher of one of life's lessons, it will be much easier to forgive them. Be thankful for the lesson. View the situation from the perspective of how you dealt with it rather than what was done to you.

To decide not to forgive is to decide to suffer. By shifting your perspective and refusing to blame others, or to carry any resentment, you open yourself to a happier existence. Forgiveness is letting go of all hope that we can somehow fix the past. We have all been hurt by the actions of others. It is always easy to justify your anger, but even with the strongest of justifications, you will never be happy if you hold onto the anger. The anger will have won out, and you will have lost, no matter how strong your "case." It will help you to forgive if you take the position that, in your life, no anger is justified.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Realize that there is nothing in this world that requires you to be angry.

Tuesday: Think of the people in your family you have not forgiven for things that they have done.

Wednesday: Release all anger which you still hold against anyone in your family.

Thursday: Think about all of the people in your life you have not forgiven for things that they have done.

Friday: Release all anger which you still hold against anyone.

Saturday: Release all anger that you hold against any institution, government, group or situation in the world.

Sunday: Resolve to always release any anger whenever it is experienced.

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: The process of change

Most of us want to make some changes in our life and then find it difficult to change because we don't have a clear understanding to go about it. I will discuss the necessary steps that we must accomplish if we are going to be successful at making changes in our life.

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Contact Information

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