Dove with Branch
March 3, 2008 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

The introduction of emotional skills training in the schools of Nepal through the SEWA-Life Without Anger Training Program was a great moment that I had an opportunity to be a part of. IAs they enter the second phase of this program and add three additional schools I congratulate SEWA-Nepal for having the vision to take this step that will enrich the personal life of each individual who participates as well as our entire world society.

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, When I want to talk to my husband he has his mind somewhere else and doesn't pay attention to what I am saying. If I want an answer I have to ask him twice or wait until his mind is no longer distracted. How can I get him to listen when I want to talk to him? - Cindy in Salem

Dear Cindy, Your husband seems willing to listen to you, and to discuss things with you. Be thankful for that. What you have is a problem of timing. He has just as much right to determine the timing as you do. Many people have the idea that if they want to talk, the other person is obligated to listen. He has just as much right to set the timing for a discussion as you do. Talking takes both a sender and a receiver and they both have equal rights. Talk only when he is ready to listen and your discussions will be much more effective, and friendlier. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have been married three times and my marriages have failed. I have found a wonderful man that I love very much. However, I have found that things change when you marry. I am afraid to try again, I can't stand another failure, but I am lonesome. Should I consider marriage? How can I make sure it would be successful? -Eva in Cleveland

Dear Eva, If you want to consider marriage you should. Can you make sure it is successful? - No. Your first marriages gave you lessons. You can learn from the lessons, or repeat the mistakes. Some of them may have to do with choice, some with expectations, and some with your own behavior. Don't remarry until you have learned new thinking and behavior that will resolve those issues. Don't remarry because of need. Learning to be okay with being alone creates freedom in your relationship. - 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

The greatest development in the world to date for the advancement of our human society has been universal education. Through our schools we as a society have learned how to create the great intellectual advancement that has allowed our world society to grow and prosper. As our society advances we still find that we are held back by a lack of emotional skills. We find ourselves all too often entering into both personal and national conflicts simply because we do not possess the understanding to be able to solve our conflicts in effective ways.

We learn the intellectual skills that advance our society but we do not yet possess the emotional skills necessary to use our intellectual skills effectively. We have reached the place in our intellectual education that we now understand how our emotional system functions. Once we learned how it works we were able to develop the necessary understanding to be able to teach each individual how to understand and make changes in the way they function emotionally so they can optimize their life experience.

We are now introducing emotional intelligence training in our school system so that everyone can learn the necessary skills to optimize their life experience on the emotional level. Once we have learned these lessons, not only will it be possible for each individual to maximize his personal life experience, but we also make it possible for our world societies to live in peace with each other. When we learn to live in peace this allows our world societies to work together and use our great intellectual skills more effectively to provide a peaceful and prosperous life for all individuals and all nations on this planet.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Our expectations can often get in the way of intimacy - especially when we're not forthcoming with our mate or when expectations clash. We need to let our mate know what our expectations are, find 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 your own. 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 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 perspective partner live up to our expectations, unless they agree to.

Anything you consider important in your relationship should be agreed to ahead of time by both of you. When things come up as your relationship progresses, they should be worked out mutually. We have no right to be angry just because our mate doesn't want to do things our way. Their idea of what is important and what they should contribute are just as important as ours are. Expecting them to conform to our 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 how you want your relationship with your partner to be.

Tuesday: Think about the expectations you have for a relationship that are different from a typical relationship.

Wednesday: Think about the things you would like your partner to contribute to the relationship.

Thursday: Think about the things you are willing to contribute to the relationship.

Friday: Think about the differences you may have with your mate or any perspective mate.

Saturday: Think about how you can work together to resolve differences.

Sunday: : Picture yourself living in a perfect relationship with a loving mate.

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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