Dove with Branch
September 24, 2007 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk


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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I got a kick out of the plumber one (7/23)!! I have six children. My third child went to culinary school and lasted six years in posh, high-end kitchens where there was never any time off for those who were dependable, and where the chefs were very hierarchy-oriented and persnickety. Bottom line, he switched career fields, and is now going for his commercial plumber's license and is way happier and much in demand as a truly skilled person (he has much common sense and applies it). You are right, he will wind up earning more than he was as a line cook or a sous chef (and probably even an eventual head chef) and although the parents in your letter probably thought he would be much more respectable as a high end eventual head chef, my husband and I think our son is way better off (and happier, and freer to make his own decisions) as a plumber!! No shame, here!! - M. Lloyd

Dear, M. Lloyd, Thanks for sharing you and your son's personal experience with us. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have found a job that is perfect for me in every way except that it involves a long commute which I do not enjoy what do you suggest? - Bill in CA

Dear Bill, If you can't move work closer to you in some way, or find a better way to get to work, then I suggest you choose to enjoy the commute. Perhaps you can use the time to listen to tapes or find a way to solve some of the world's or your own problems. - 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 are going to have peace in the world, whether someone else's religion is better than our own is irrelevant. In order to have peace we must have freedom. If we are going to have freedom we must be equal. If I look at you as less than me in some way I have not given you the freedom to be my equal. Also I have not given myself the freedom to be your equal. When I look at you as less than me in some way then I am unable to be your loving brother and you will find it difficult to be my loving sister.

If you brought someone from north of the Artic Circle to live in your city most likely he would have great difficulty adjusting to life there. If on the other hand you were to find yourself somewhere north of the Artic Circle you would be lucky to survive without the help of those who live there. It would be easy for them to think that in their world you are the inferior one and not offer you the help you need to survive.

It is in our nature to desire love, respect and approval from others. When those things are not given and received we are not at ease with each other. When we are ready to give up the idea that it is important to judge others and that being superior to them in some way is important to us we will be able to open our hearts and our arms to each other and live in a peaceful new world.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Challenge the shoulds, oughts, musts and have-tos in your life. If you feel that you have to do something that you really don't want to do, you are sure to get angry. If you think it is really the right thing to do, then just accept it and do it. If you think it might not be what you want to do, then think it through clearly, make a choice and accept your choice. If you are still troubled by this problem, or by your decision then realize that you have conflicting beliefs.

You would not feel stressed by your choice of how to deal with an event if you were totally in agreement with your own decision. Take feeling stressed as a signal that you have to look at your belief system in order to either eliminate some belief, or to align it somehow with your other existing beliefs. We have all been from time to time, the victim of our own conflicting belief system. Don't let this kind of event pass by any more. Do the work to align your beliefs. Until you do, you will continue to be stressed when similar events occur.

It is self-defeating not to like the action you have chosen. This is the time to remember that you, and only you, are in control of your life. Once you make a choice, work to make it the right choice. If you find that it is not the right choice, then change to a new and better choice.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things you feel you must do even though you don't want to do them.

Tuesday: Choose a new way to respond or to accept your present response as the correct one.

Wednesday: Think about the things you feel you should do even though you don't want to do them.

Thursday: Choose a new way to respond or to accept you present response as the correct one.

Friday: Think about the things that you must do each day that upset you.

Saturday: Choose a new way to respond or to accept you present response as the correct one.

Sunday: Resolve that any time you feel stressed to make a new choice that is perfectly right for you.

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:

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