Dove with Branch
November 17, 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, My family was very close when we were growing up but we seem to be drifting apart. I try to support my siblings in every way I can but they never seem to care about any problems but their own. How can I get them to help me when I have problems? - Drew in WA

Dear Drew, Perhaps you can't. They have no obligation to help you just as you have no obligation to help them. If they still feel loving toward you they will most likely help. They may not want your help, at least in the way you offer it. They may feel helpless to help you. If they are not supporting you in the way they do each other then you would do well to find out why they are treating you differently. Ask them in a nice way! If you are giving them support but expecting something in return then you are not "giving" them support. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I go to a cafe for lunch most days that is near my work. The food is wonderful and the service is wonderful. Two co-workers from a nearby office also go there. The problem I have is that they are loud and argumentative and often use inappropriate words. I have asked them to please be quiet but they ignore me. I have also asked the manager to speak to them but never does. Do you have any suggestions? - Meg in TX

Dear Meg, Find another restaurant? You do have other options. You might let them know nicely that you (and perhaps others) are upset and ask if they could speak more quietly. You might let the manager know that you (and perhaps others) will be leaving if it continues. You could even take up a collection from the other regular diners to buy their meals elsewhere. You always have the options of choosing not to be disturbed by their behavior, or searching for a desirable lunch elsewhere. - 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 have a right to free speech. This is an essential right that should not be controlled or tempered by our government. In a free society we must be free to express our opinions about anything and everything. Even if the hearer doesn't accept the message as appropriate or desirable we still have the right to state our beliefs.

We are however a member of our society and we have a personal stake in how it functions. This creates a secondary obligation that we concern ourselves with the effect our message will have on the listener as well as society as a whole.

If we are to live with our neighbors in peace and harmony we should consider presenting our message in a way that promotes that. If we care about creating a positive change we should present our message in such a way that it will most likely be considered in a positive way by the listener. All too often we present our message with so much anger and negativity that it is resisted by the listener just because of the way it is presented.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

As our society evolved we saw that great power was to be desired. However as we evolved intellectually we came to realize that those in power tended to look out for their own self-interests, rather than those of the group. As people became more aware they refused to accept power abusing leaders. As the people became strong enough they began to overthrow their abusive leadership, and replace it with leadership whose power is derived from the consent of the governed. That process is still going on today in many parts of the world. It is still being perfected and improved everywhere it exists, as the people grow more in awareness. Gradually those governments who want to take power over their own, or other people by force are finding it more difficult to do so.

This change to being governed only with our own informed consent comes gradually as our awareness as individuals increases. We must become aware enough to make choices, and elect only those who make decisions that are in our own enlightened self-interest. In order to have peace within our society we have to come more and more to realize that we ourselves must be peaceful. Only when we come from a place of peace will we be truly concerned about peace for other people.

Only when we change our personal way of being to peaceful and joyful living, will we be able to create peace and joy in the world. The world will always be acting in a way that is an out- picturing of the general level of consciousness of the people.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Understand that it is human nature to always act in our own personal interest, as we see it.

Tuesday: Understand that others will always act in their own personal interest; as they see it.

Wednesday: Recognize that we live in a society that is governed only by those we choose.

Thursday: Recognize that the wiser the choices we make the more we will be satisfied with our governance.

Friday: Recognize that we tend to chose those who will represent our values.

Saturday: Think about the values that will best serve our society.

Sunday: Resolve to choose representatives who best represent the values we believe are important.

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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