Dove with Branch
September 15, 2008 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk


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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I provide for my children very well. They have all of the things their friends have. We always support them and attend their activities. Yet they lack appreciation for what we do. When they want something, they refuse to take no for an answer. They speak angrily and refuse to follow the rules. Why does this happen and how can we fix it? - Lauri in CA

Dear Lauri, You are your child's teacher. They have learned how they can and should act from the lessons that you have taught them. They act the way they do because that kind of behavior works for them. If you want them to be different you must teach them new lessons. It will be more difficult now because they must unlearn the old lessons. It is important for your children to learn to make choices that are in their own long term interest, rather than whatever works at the moment. They need to learn better strategies for dealing with life. And they need to learn them from you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, Just a comment - I would tell Carla in MI (8/04) to keep doing her good work as usual, but to document everything that she sees the co-worker doing wrong or saying to other people. Write down what it was, to whom the co-worker said it, and then date and time. I would keep doing good work, but keep a record of every single thing so that if the truth does NOT come to light and the wrong people are rewarded or promoted, then Carla has a notebook full of justification for her own position. If it does nothing else, their knowing that she has the "documented goods" on them could at least prevent them from giving her a bad recommendation when she goes out job-hunting. - Mary Ellen in VA

Dear Mary Ellen, It is always good to keep a record of events as you indicate. The cautionary note is not to become fixated on the problem and allow yourself to feel victimized or create a desire to get even with that person somehow. - 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

Peace on Earth and Good Will toward All! When we are in the midst of war we are able to stop on various holidays (most notably Christmas) put down our arms, and suspend the battle for a time. For a brief period of time we are able to stop and recognize the value of peace and experience the feeling of good will toward others.

If we can do this for one day, we can do this for two days. If we can do this for two days, we can do this for three days, and on and on ---. All we have to do to end war is to keep this feeling in our hearts all of the time. We are fully capable of this once we learn how. Not just in our nation but in our own lives as well. Our life is created from the way we believe, not the other way around as so many think.

As a nation we always out-picture the attitude of our own collective consciousness in the world. To have peace in our world we must have peace in our own hearts. Let us make it our aim during the whole year to find that feeling of "Peace and Good Will Toward Others" in our own heart - and then to continue to nurture and retain it one day at a time until we create a new and permanent consciousness of peace first in our selves; then our nation; and ultimately in the whole world.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Learn to embrace change. Your life hasn't been perfect. You can make it better by letting go of old attachments so that you can pursue more desirable goals. When something doesn't work the way you want it to and you can't change it, concentrate on replacing it with something new. Think of what you want in its place. This focus on the new positive goal is helpful in letting go of the old negative attachment.

You may also find it helpful at this point to focus on the knowledge that you are now open to new opportunities. This is the time that you can choose something new in your life. You want your life to be better? Choose something that will make it so. You may even find that it is time to train for a new career, or make new friends.

Just know that all negative attachments can be released, if and when you are up to doing so. If you have difficulty letting go don't give up. It just is a signal that you have more to learn and need to pay more attention. Books, counselors and friends are available to help you find the answers. Happiness is always an available choice. Don't pass it by just because you don't know how to do it.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things in your life that upset you.

Tuesday: Think about how your life would feel if everything was they way you wanted it to be.

Wednesday: Select the most important change you want to make in your life.

Thursday: Think about how your life will be when you make this change.

Friday: Determine what you must learn in order to make this change.

Saturday: Today begin the steps necessary for change.

Sunday: Today dedicate yourself to enjoying the process of change.

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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