Dove with Branch
September 17, 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 concerned that the political objectives of some "Evangelical Christians" have overshadowed Christ's message of grace and peace. Recently American Family Radio ran a whole program lamenting the fact that a Hindu prayer had been allowed in the Senate, a place where our constitution provides that one religion is not to be promoted above another. Gospel Christianity claims re- Christian monotheism as exclusive to Christianity and raises a specter of a Christian God that will punish non-Christians, and Christians, for tolerating others practicing their religious beliefs in government arenas. Jesus, the Christ, in the Gospels, gave Christians a church and a creed to base a life pleasing to God upon, and said His way was abundant life and pleasing to God. But, He did not disparage legitimate concepts of God. Such interpretation and quoting of Gospel precepts in aid of persecution is not in Jesus' legacy of the peacemaker. - Pastor Bill in MT

Dear Pastor Bill, You are right! Holding our view of God above all other's "Gods" is not the way to peace. We cannot have peace without freedom. And freedom includes the right for each of us to hold our own personal view of God. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I am a typist for several people at work. I will type a perfect document for them and then they will make changes and bring it back to do over again. They should make the corrections before they bring the document to me. How do I get them to do that? - Marta in SC

Dear Marta, Apparently they feel a need to see what a document looks like before they make final corrections. Suggest the idea that not giving it to you until after final corrections would be more efficient. Then accept their decision, since it is apparently theirs to make. If typing it over again is part of your job description then accept the task with joy! - 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

Thoughts for those who believe in evolution: We often think about and debate the concept of biological evolution. A concept that seems even more evident and easier to accept is that of social evolution. There are those who feel that our society is condemned to repeat its mistakes and may even destroy itself. It is possible that we may have huge setbacks because of unfortunate mistakes. However the evidence is clear that we are making great progress in our ability to interact, communicate and live together.

Review the progress we have made in education and communication skills and we will marvel at the great progress we have made. The advances in our educational system have transformed our society in many more ways than just the advance of technology. Our increased understanding has allowed us to solve many of our social problems. Advances in the field of human rights have been amazing in recent history. Once we realized that our well-being was affected by the well-being of all others it became possible to create a social order that was joyful and peaceful.

Perhaps the next great step will be to reduce war from a tool of diplomacy to one of last resort for our preservation. When we do that then war will result only when we lack the imagination to solve our problems. Eventually we will possess sufficient imagination in solving our social problems that war will disappear completely. We humans will always choose in our own self-interest. As soon as we realize that our self-interest includes our interactions with other people we will learn to make more effective choices.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Our expectations can often get in the way of intimacy - especially when we are not forthcoming with our mate, or when expectations clash. We need to let our mate know what our expectations are, find out what their expectations are, and then come to some agreement about them. Preferably, we should do this before we enter into any permanent or long-term relationship.

Your mate's expectations will always be different than yours. To assume otherwise will only get you into trouble. Too often we expect that our relationship will or should resemble how things were in our own family, or how "most couples" relate to each other in this society. We then become partners with someone expecting that they will think and act that way. But we have no right to expect that our prospective partner live up to our expectations, unless they agree to. Just because they have agreed to enter into a relationship with you does not mean that they have agreed to do the cooking or the car repairs, or anything else that you may consider customary and expect from them.

Anything you consider important in your relationship should be discussed and agreed to ahead of time by both of you. When new things come up as your relationship progresses, they should be worked out mutually. You have no right to be upset just because your mate doesn't want to do things your way. Their ideas of what they expect and what they are willing to contribute are just as important as yours are. Expecting them to conform to your notion of how a partner should be, when they haven't agreed to those expectations, and becoming angry when they don't live up to them, is unfair and unreasonable.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about what your expectations are for you mate, or your prospective mate.

Tuesday: Determine what your mate's or prospective mate's expectations for you are.

Wednesday: Think about the expectations your mate has, or is likely to have, that are different than your own.

Thursday: Determine what possible resolutions of your disagreements that your mate finds most attractive.

Friday: Think about the possible ways you will be able to meet each other's expectations.

Saturday: Resolve that any time you and your mate disagree that you will work together to find a solution that is satisfactory for both of you.

Sunday: When you feel upset with your mate remember what first attracted you to about 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

My Phone Seminar for this week is: Can Anger Bring Happiness?

Explore how anger works, what is does for us and the use of it to achieve our objectives in life. Explore the possibility of using more effective alternatives to achieve our goals.

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