Dove with Branch
November 5, 2007 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
The newsletter on Nov. 12th and 19th will be limited mailing becasue I will be working in Nepal to expand the activities of SEWA-Nepal.  I will report to you on our success in reaching all of the people of Nepal with our emotional training program upon my return.  If any of you want to be sure you don't miss a weekly newsletter just send a request and we will do a special mailing for you; or you may simply go to our website and read it or make a copy.

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven -   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My wife goes on business trips with others in her office and some of them are men. I really think this kind of situation is dangerous and have asked her not to do this. I have told her she must give up the job if she wants to save the marriage but she refuses. I don't want to end the marriage but this kind of situation is unacceptable, what should I do? - Mike in Baltimore

Dear Mike, Unless you really don't have enough trust to accept her as she is telling her it was a condition of marriage was a rather foolish statement. A loving relationship is based on love; and love is founded in trust. Why would you want her if she wants someone else? If you want a loving relationship you must accept and trust her. If you don't trust her why should she trustworthy? Decide whether you want a partner or a puppet. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My brother is always making a mess of his life. He keeps losing jobs, using drugs, and has lost two wives. Every time he gets in a crisis he comes to me to bail him out. I feel like I am enabling him, but how do I stop doing that? I can't just let him live on the street. - Worried brother

Dear Worried Brother, The answer is to give love and emotional support always and think carefully about the other support you give. Ask yourself if you are being caring or enabling? Sometimes this is a very difficult question. If you are having difficulty with this issue talk to some outside the problem. If you need a place to seek help look up Co-dependants Anonymous or Al-anon. You are facing the same problems as someone who has an alcoholic in their life. Learn not to feel guilty for problems that you have no responsibility for. - 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

We try to solve the problems of the world from the viewpoint of our own beliefs and our own way of thinking. We know what we "should expect" from other people, and what they "should expect" from us. What we often fail to realize is that everyone else is trying to do the same. They are trying to solve the problems of the world from their way of thinking. We all want peace and joy in the world. The problem is that we have different ideas of what that is and how to achieve it.

Unfortunately this thinking often carries over to our expectations of what is right or wrong in relationships between countries. We make judgments that "they" are wrong and must change their behavior. How would you feel if the positions were reversed? We do need some rules about what is right and wrong for all. However they should be created by common agreement, treaty, a world governing body, or some other way we can come to agreement. Dictating how others must act, when we "know" they are wrong only leads to trouble. To live in Peace we must build a path that all societies are willing to walk down.

As long as we look at others who are trying to achieve the same basic things out of life as we are as our enemies, we shall continue to have problems. When we look on them as enemies we think that imposing our way on them will solve our problems. When we look on them as friends we try to help them solve their problems. And they try to help us solve our problems. Let's quit choosing sides and become friends with the rest of the world!

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

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.

It is especially important to pay attention to these issues at the present time because our society is transforming its idea of how we look at the partnering relationship. Traditionally we looked at the relationship as the male provider and the female nurturer. This concept is changing to a new concept of equality where the lines between these roles are no longer clear. If you are expecting the old traditional relationship you need to find a prospective partner who is seeking that kind of relationship as well.

Since the present forms of relationship are still emerging and far more complex in most cases you will need to consider each others expectations. Be open to reaching compromises on many smaller issues before deciding to enter into a long term relationship. Starting out with commitment and then finding out whether it works or not tends to consume much more emotional energy than most of us would like to expend.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about my picture of how a relationship should be.

Tuesday: Today I think about my partners or prospective partner's picture of how a relationship should be.

Wednesday: Today I think about the things that I believe are essential in a relationship.

Thursday: Today I think about the importance of explaining how our relationship should be to my partner.

Friday: Today I resolve to discuss and understand my prospective mate's point of view.

Saturday: Today I decide to resolve differences through negotiation and understanding.

Sunday: Today I resolve to understand my prospective mate's expectations and to resolve any difference from my own before entering into a relationship.

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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