Dove with Branch
September 3, 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, just as Sam(8/20) does. The real joy in the life of large families is the loving and caring we do for each other. If it looks like you against the rest of the family, I suggest you take a hard look at why this is happening. If the rest are getting along your differences may be from something in the way that you are relating to them. You may need to change a little to fit in. Think about it! You may find it worth changing a little. - Ivan in WA

Dear Ivan, You are right to consider changing to fit in with the rest of the family because the rewards are great. Consider also that it may be a matter of respect. You may be able to stand in your own truth and get their respect. For most people respecting you is more important than your being just like them. - the Dean

Dear Dean, We had a great family reunion this summer and my brother Fred who lives only four hours away was "to busy" to make it to the party. He could have taken the time off work if he really wanted to come. This is the last time he will be invited to a party at our place. - Melinda in CO

Dear Melinda, I don't know about your brother's problem and why he couldn't attend, but it is evident that you have an anger problem. Being angry when others don't do what you like is just a learned behavior that is not very effective in creating loving relationships. Your brother has reasons which you may be totally unaware of for not attending. Allow him to make his decisions on his own basis instead of your desires; and respect him for them. Tell him you really missed him and let him know everyone hopes that he can make it next time. - 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

If we use war only in self-defense and even then only as a tool of last resort we will have much less war in the world. If we use war as a tool of last resort we will only have war when we have a failure of imagination. As long as we are able to think of other possible solutions war will not become necessary.

When we examine the wars we have participated in we have discovered after the fact that many of them were not necessary: because peaceful solutions were possible and that many wars didn't produce the desired results anyway. We have often found that the price for war was too high, even when we were the victor. This being the case we would be well advised to seek a less drastic resolution of our differences. Fortunately we are reaching a place in the evolution of our consciousness and our thinking that we are capable of developing far more effective resolutions to our conflicts with other nations and other societies.

The price of war in human casualties and resources has become too high for us to bear! The ability for us to understand and resolve our differences has risen to the level that we are capable of resolving our differences. All that is left to do is for each nation to give up the need to impose their ways and ideas on other nations. We will be able to do this when society and the individuals in the society give up the idea of imposing our will on others. We must be willing to be equal parts of a unified whole with each having the freedom to being their own person, neighborhood, city, state and nation.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Anger exposes our weaknesses. It causes us to lose control and to act in dogmatic ways. We make foolish decisions, we waste time and energy, and we may become obsessed with our self and the people we are angry with. We antagonize the people we love, and we lose friends. We do crazy, destructive, sometimes illegal things. We have stress, high blood pressure, intestinal problems, heart problems, and other physical discomforts.

We have all heard of the placebo effect. It is sometimes referred to as wellness thinking. Because we believe something is going to cure us it does. It is such a strong effect that all research on medicines is done without letting the patient know whether he is taking the real medicine or just a sugar pill. The opposite also applies. When we think we are going to get sick we most generally do. If we want to be happy and well it is extremely important to believe that we are. A recent study of the immune system shows that constant negative emotions cause certain cells in the immune system not to reproduce thus weakening the immune system and shortening an angry person's life by an average of eleven years.

Take a few moments and think about what fear and anger are costing you. Think of the friends and opportunities you have lost because of them. Think of some of the things you wanted to do that they have held you back from doing. Think of some of the things that you have not gotten because of your negative emotions - or those of others. Is the price of anger too high for you?

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you get upset when others act in ways that you believe they should not.

Tuesday: Think about things that upset you but do not upset other people.

Wednesday: Think about things that upset other people but do not upset you.

Thursday: Think about how you use anger to control the actions of other people.

Friday: Think about ways to control the actions of other people without being angry.

Saturday: Think about allowing other people to act as they choose when it does not affect you personally.

Sunday: Resolve to accept the rules of other cultures as appropriate for them.

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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