Dove with Branch
March 31, 2008 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

Congratulations! To the graduating classes of the Life Without Anger Emotional Education training program from Don Bosco Higher Secondary School, Future Stars High School, and Kali Devi Higher Secondary School in Nepal - and to SEWA-Nepal for conducting such an outstandingly successful program.

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My parents are always helping my brother and they never seem to be interested in my problems even though he has many and I have very few. They even go to his children's birthday parties but can't seem to make it to my children's. Why should I be treated as if I was a lesser person than my brother? - Peggy in SF

Dear Peggy, The right to receive as much support from your parents as your brother does is only in your own mind. Perhaps your parents feel you can make it on your own, but that your brother can't. They feel a different obligation than the one you think they should have. They have given you the gift of making you a responsible person. You have already received more from them than your brother ever will. Be thankful they have provided well for you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have an associate at work that is always trying to take credit for my work. We work on projects together then he presents them as his ideas. What can I do to protect myself from his taking all the credit and getting the recognition and promotions? - Jeff in WA

Dear Jeff, Do your work as well, and as cheerfully as you can. Your associate is playing a dangerous game. Most likely he will pay the price one day. However it is not your job to see that he does. Do your best always. Most likely your supervisor knows what is going on, and the more gracious you are the better the result will be for you. Success includes much more than money and position. Stay free of his game, and trust that being positive is the only way to be successful. - 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

As humans banded together; at first in small communities and then in ever larger social structures we developed rules about how we should live and function together. These are the rules that have become the laws and traditions which determine how our society functions. These structures were created at a time when we were concerned primarily with our safety and when we had little trust that others would follow the rules voluntarily.

We developed solutions that did not look beyond the immediate problem we were trying to solve and did not contemplate changes that would occur in the future. Conditions changed and needs changed but rules changed only a little. Our rules and laws are bound by the traditions of the past that are difficult to change.

We need to exam these structures in some detail to determine possible changes that will bring them into harmony with our objective of creating a harmonious framework for our society. Our objective is to create a framework that will make it possible for each of us on this planet to experience a peaceful and joyful life. In working to create peace we need to examine each of our society's operating systems to determine their goals and purpose. We need to discover the stresses and obstacles created by the way they presently function. We need to have a general understanding of the functioning and objectives of each of these areas. This will allow us to be able to create productive changes that will help to align these systems more closely with our need to function effectively and to be creative in a Peaceful World.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Is your response always appropriate to the present situation - or do you sometimes simply go on "automatic pilot" and use a response that you had used in the past? For instance, wouldn't it be better to leave the dishes on the table, or put them into the sink yourself, than to get mad at your mate for not doing it? Wouldn't it have gone better with the boss if you had said to him that you would like to help but had already made other plans that were too important to be changed?

Perception is not a fact. It is a mirror of our thoughts. No two people see the world the same. Learn to observe yourself to find out how you see the world. Try to see how your problems overlap each other and are interrelated to your other problems as well as the problems of others. Try to see how your way of looking at things always agrees with your entrenched beliefs. Try to see how the way you think causes problems for you.

Especially pay attention to how you are feeling. "Emotional awareness" is being aware of what feelings are actually occurring in your body. Try to be more aware of you emotions and note how they make you feel. See if your responses are in line with the way you think and act when you are not feeling the emotion. Just the act of observing your emotions can take away some of the emotional charge.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I learn to take a moment to think and make a conscious choice before I respond.

Tuesday: I look at my responses to see if the response I have chosen is the best possible choice.

Wednesday: Today I examine why I sometimes become upset by the action of other people.

Thursday: I examine other ways of thinking about the things that upset me.

Friday: I pay attention to the way I feel when I become upset. I examine the thoughts that result while I am upset.

Saturday: I notice how much better I feel when I examine the reasons for being upset.

Sunday: I immediately remove each thing that upsets me from my thoughts.

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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