Dove with Branch
November 12, 2007 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk


A reminder: I will be in Nepal working with the scool system for the next two weeks so I won't be mailing this newsletter.  It will be posted on for your convenience.

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I had the problem of my two children fighting with each other. What worked for me was to explain the problem to them, and ask them to find a solution or suffer reasonable consequences. It was up to them to find a solution. I was only available as a consultant, and to offer support. They only paid the consequences a couple of times before they got serious about finding a solution. They learned to discuss their common problem and find a solution, and they ended up loving each other. - Calm Mom

Dear Calm Mom, Wonderful!! This is a great application of the principle of teaching responsibility with love. When we teach our children to find positive solutions to their problems we create a harmonious family environment. At the same time, we are teaching them the tools they need to create a successful and happy life for themselves and those around them. - the Dean

Dear Dean, In a prior column you wrote about a niece staying in her aunt's home while going to college, but not helping as agreed. I have the same problem with my own daughter. What do you suggest? - Disappointed Mother

Dear Disappointed, Your daughter's behavior has become a problem for you because you allowed it to happen. Taking corrective action is always much more difficult than preventing the problem. To change her behavior your daughter must experience defined consequences when she fails to comply. Decide what the consequences would be. Explain them to her. Then enforce them evenly and with love. - 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

When our country is attacked how do we respond? Do we ask our government to protect us, or do we come together as a people to decide how protect ourselves? How we view this question has a lot to do with how we respond. If we are asking the government to protect us then we are seeking the help of a hopefully kind and beneficent ruler who will provide for our needs. We are not just turning our protection over to others we are turning the ability to make decisions about what is good for our life over to others.

The abuses in the past have come when the people turn their protection over to others instead of working together as a collective group of citizens. If the purpose of our struggle is to maintain our freedom, then we do not want to make decisions that give up our freedom just to stay alive. Remember the cry of our forefathers who said, "Give me liberty or give me death." In deciding for your security always ask yourself, "When I do this am I giving up a little bit of my freedom because of my fear?"

Let us begin by looking for solutions that give us our freedom. We look for the reason we are being attacked and solve the problem in a way that brings freedom to all; even to the attacker if possible. Our primary purpose should be to solve the problem rather than to punish the offender.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can change the world by changing our thoughts about it. When we learn to change our basic beliefs about things, we have the capacity to look at life - and everything else that happens to us - differently. This process is referred to as changing our belief system. When we do this, we even change the system of cause and effect. How does this work? Once we've changed our view of the world, things will not work the same for us as they did before. The same events that we were experiencing in the past will now inspire different responses than they did before - and thus different results.

Our belief system is an extremely complex system that contains all of the things that we have learned in our whole life. These are all the beliefs that we have been taught and accept as being true. Our beliefs determine how we think the world works and embody the truths we hold to be self-evident and accept without question. In order to make meaning out of any new input to our mind we always compare this new information to our existing belief system.

If we want to change the way we feel, then we must change our beliefs. You'll be able to experience a wonderful new way of life if you can just alter your beliefs to encompass wonderful expectations of life. This is because what you believe will happen is what will happen. Almost always we find the world out there to be the world we expect it to be. So for the world to seem good to you, it is essential that you expect that it will be good.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I recognize I create my own personal view of the world just by the way I think about things.

Tuesday: I recognize that if I don't like what is happening and I am powerless to change it that I will remain unhappy unless I change how I feel about it.

Wednesday: I recognize that I can make my world better just by thinking it is better.

Thursday: I recognize that if I accept what is happening as just how the world works it is not necessary to remain unhappy.

Friday: I recognize my beliefs were created by the things I have learned from others.

Saturday: I resolve to examine any belief that results in my unhappiness.

Sunday: I resolve to change any belief I hold that results in my unhappiness.

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: The Relationship is a Third party

Learn how you can create a healthier, happier relationship by creating the relationship as a separate entity that you both work together to nurture and support. Learn how both parties can deal with the relationship in a positive and supportive way.

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