Dove with Branch
August 4, 2008 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

Dear Peacemaker,


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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, People are using more and more informality in business. Business owners and managers have earned the respect that goes with their position. They should be paid the respect they are due. Even the mail boy thinks its okay to call the boss by his first name. I even get letters and e- mails saying "hi" to me and I am often addressed only by my first name. I think a boss deserves more respect. - Robert Jones in VA

Dear Robert Jones, If it is your company, you can probably have it any way you want it. However, the person who calls you by your first name may feel that he is respecting you by considering you his equal and his friend when using your first name. He wants friendship - you want respect. You are the boss; decide how you want it in your company. When you are doing that, think about what will be the most productive and friendliest working conditions for your employees. You may want to reconsider the idea that people owe you something just because of your position. - the Dean

Dear Dean, A worker in my office is trying to get ahead by stepping on other people. He blames others for his own mistakes and claims credit for the work of others. He tries to make himself look good and others look bad in any way he can. This is frustrating because it makes me look like I am not doing good work. How do I solve this problem? - Carla in MI

Dear Carla, By doing nothing about it, and keep doing good work! If you enter into the game your fellow worker is playing it will only cause you more trouble. Your supervisor is not stupid, and will be able to figure out what is going on. You both will ultimately be recognized for what you are contributing. Don't let this negatively affect your performance. Do your best and if it isn't eventually recognized in a positive way then consider finding a workplace where it will be. - 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 look around us and think about what is going on in the world today. We read the newspaper and get depressed by what we read. We study history and see that "man's inhumanity to man" has been going on forever; and it continues today. It is easy to assume that that is our destiny. History will continue to repeat itself. We are doomed to strife and grief. That this is the human condition is an easy conclusion to draw.

If we look closely however, we see many reasons for hope. We have the desire to change. We have the capacity to learn. We have learned many lessons from our past mistakes. We have more democratic governments in the word today than we have ever had. We still have too many wars, but they are more about freedom and less about conquest. Almost everyone is becoming educated to a higher level. We are learning how to make better choices for ourselves. We are learning to produce a better quality of life for most people. Famines have become a rarity rather than commonplace.

As more of us recognize the value of love we learn to care more and more about others. We do this because we realize it makes our own life better. We still act in our own self-interest. It is however an enlightened self-interest, recognizing that ultimately we cannot be happy by harming others; and that this is an abundant world with plenty for all when we learn to share. Perhaps the most important lesson we are learning is that sharing is good because it produces abundance and it produces love.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Most of the anger directed at us is due to the other person having different expectations than ours. They are operating under the assumption that we will act toward them in a certain way; but when we don't, their anger is triggered. They may hold very different beliefs, be totally unaware of our point of view or motivation, or they may simply be very different from us in many ways.

In order to prevent another person from getting angry and to achieve your goals, it is important to be aware of the fact that the other person wants something to come out of their relationship with you. The key is to understand their expectations, and to help them understand yours.

Such mutual understanding is brought about by meaningful communication. Rather than expecting the other person to feel the same way you do about the situation they are upset about, make a real effort to find out how they really feel. In order to get an understanding of what's driving their anger - so that you can ultimately diffuse it - you'll need to hone your listening and communication skills.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about how other people have different beliefs than I do.

Tuesday: I realize that it is natural for others to believe differently than I do.

Wednesday: I accept the beliefs of others as appropriate, and as valid as my own beliefs.

Thursday: I learn to listen carefully so that I can determine the beliefs of others.

Friday: I learn how to determine what the other person expects from me.

Saturday: I learn to communicate my expectations in a friendly way.

Sunday: I resolve to create mutual satisfaction in the resolution of all differences.

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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