Dove with Branch
August 20, 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 come from a large family and we were very close when we were growing up. I try to support my brothers and sisters in every way I can but they never seem to care about me and my problems. How can I get them to help me when I need it? - Sam in Baltimore

Dear Sam, Perhaps you can't. They have no obligation to help you just as you have no obligation to help them. If they still feel loving toward you they will most likely help. They may not want your help, at least in the way you offer it. They may feel helpless to help you. If they are not supporting you in the way they do each other then it would do well to find out why they are treating you differently. Ask them in a nice way! If you are giving them support but expecting something in return then you are not "giving" them support. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I go to a special restaurant for lunch every day that is near my work. The food is wonderful and the service is wonderful. There is a husband and wife who work in separate offices nearby who go there for lunch also. The problem I have is that they are loud and argumentative and end up calling each other names. I have asked them to please be quiet and I have asked the manager to speak to them but he refuses. Do you have any suggestions? - Wanda in KY

Dear Wanda, Find another restaurant? You do have other options. You might let them know nicely that you (and perhaps others) are upset and ask if they could speak more quietly. You might let the manager know that you (and perhaps others) will be leaving if it continues. You could even take up a collection from the other regular diners to buy their meals elsewhere. You always have the options of choosing not to be disturbed by their behavior, or buying a less palatable lunch in a different environment. - 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

It is natural to want things to be our way. It is also natural for other people to disagree with us when they want things to be a different way. That is just the way the world works. How we respond to this is a matter of choice on our part. Many of us have learned to respond to disagreement by others as a threat to our achieving what we want - in some case even a threat to our very existence. We see a "dog eat dog" world and we have to fight for our survival. As long as we look at the world that way life will always be a struggle and war will always exist.

We do not need to give up acting in our own self-interest to find a better solution to this dilemma. All we need to do is realize that it is in our own best interest to find a peaceful resolution to the conflicts arising in our life and then act in such a way that the other party(s) involved will be able to come to the same realization.

Nonviolent conflict resolution is something we started when we created the legal system. Our legal system has served us well in solving our differences within our own community. If we expand our idea of our own community to include the whole world we can develop a system of conflict resolution that will allow us to resolve our differences in a positive and non-threatening way. Once we do this, winning through force will no longer be the most effective conflict resolution tool - and we will be able to resolve our differences peacefully.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Perhaps you're saying to yourself, "He is the one who makes me angry. I need him to change." This attitude is guaranteed to produce anger. If you can't accept your mate, or your colleague, or your child the way he or she is your relationship is not going to be a happy one. This is something that we must do in order to have a rewarding relationship. Choose to let go of every goal where your peace of mind depends on other people changing. Learn to think, "I love you just the way you are."

It is especially hard with our children because we didn't choose them but it is our job to train them. When they turn out to be different from the way we are training them we often have so such emotion invested in the value of our work that we are upset when the results are not as we intended for them to be.

If another person gives us a lot of negative stuff, we always have the option of no longer having that person in our life. Learn to think, "You are entitled to your own goals and way of living." Your choice is whether you want that person in your life or not. Unless they want to be different and ask you for help changing, realize the problem is yours and not theirs.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Realize it is not what other people do, but your opinion about what they do that makes you angry.

Tuesday: Realize that other people act appropriately according to their own beliefs.

Wednesday: Realize that the beliefs you hold are based on your own special upbringing and training.

Thursday: Realize that other people are trying to get along in the world the best way they know how, just as you are.

Friday: Think about the problems your anger causes you.

Saturday: Realize that any time you got angry it was because you chose to.

Sunday: Resolve that when you get angry you will determine the belief that caused your anger and change it.

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: Creating a Peaceful New World

We talk about how we can work together and the work we can do to create a peaceful new world. We look at how we can discover and implement better ways of doing things so that peace can be realized.

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