Dove with Branch
December 08, 2008 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

This weekly newsletter is available free by subscription. All copies for the year are available on my website.

If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who you think may enjoy it as well, please feel free to share it with them

Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My mother was still telling me what clothes I should wear even though I was thirty-nine years old. Finely I decided that it was time to make my own decisions. When I told my mother to please let me make my own choices she said she was choosing my clothes because I didn't know how to choose the proper clothes. I pointed out that she was right and that I was never going to learn until I did it for myself and that she wasn't always going to be there to choose for me.. She understood and after a few glowing errors I am now doing pretty well. - Marlene in TX

Dear Marlene, Great work! You were assertive in a positive way and solved your problem without creating stress between you and your mother. Congratulations! - the Dean

Dear Dean, I attend a local junior college and there is a person at school who is always picking on me. He makes fun of the clothes I wear and the food I eat. He even makes fun of the way I talk. No matter what I do he makes fun of me. It upsets me so much that I want to quit school. I tell him how much it hurts, but that only encourages him to do more. How can I get him to stop? - Andrew in CA

Dear Andrew, He keeps picking on you because you allow yourself to be upset. He is someone who enjoys creating pain for others. When you understand this and accept yourself as being okay no matter what he says you will be able deflect his attacks without being upset. When you do the fun will be over for him and he will stop. What is even more important; you will learn to like yourself, and life will become better for you. - 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

Most of us want to live in a society where all relationships are voluntary and peaceful. Some don't because they believe that they have the power to control others. For them, life is good as long as they are able to maintain their control over others. This concept of society, which is a common one, dooms those who do not hold the power to a less fortunate life. We are seeking to make an ever better model of society that will provide the most desirable life for the most people. We call this democracy.

In a democracy we have the freedom to make changes in our Government. We are not doomed to follow the same rules; or the same leaders if they do not serve us well. One of the problems we have is that we tend to resist change. We put up with old ways of doing things because we think they are the right way simply because we have been taught to believe they are right. When the way things are done make you unhappy, take it as a signal to examine your beliefs. Determine whether changing your belief or changing the way we do things would be most appropriate..

One area to which we should pay special attention is imposing our beliefs on others. The more we impose our beliefs on others the less freedom we have. We have chosen to be a society open to all and as a result we have to be especially watchful of imposing our beliefs on others. Never let your test be this is the right thing to do because I, or my neighbors think it is, or this is the way we have always done it. Do not become upset when your neighbor wants to do it differently. Your effort should be to find a rule that will work for everyone.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Never think that you have the right to decide for your partner what is right or what they should do. This means you are attempting to assume a position of power over them. If you assume that power, your relationship is no longer an equal one. Also the other person usually will not willingly accept your control. They are likely to become angry and unhappy with the relationship in some way.

Intimacy with your mate requires that you respect and appreciate them for the person that they are. If you do, it will be easier to deepen your friendship and love. If you don't respect your partner, focus on learning to respect them, because it is essential to the relationship.

Focus your attention on the things that make your mate special and that attracted you to them initially. Always, always appreciate that. Often, and with enthusiasm, tell your mate how much you love and appreciate them. Doing this can prevent and dissolve a lot of anger..

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things in your relationship that you and your spouse disagree about.

Tuesday: Think about the things that your spouse does that upset you.

Wednesday: Think about the ways you try to control the relationship.

Thursday: Think about the ways your spouse tries to control the relationship.

Friday: Accept your spouse's right to act differently than you would like her to do.

Saturday: Accept your spouse's right to disagree with you.

Sunday: Discuss your differences with your spouse.

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

If you are a charitable or religious organization and would like to reprint any of my articles please contact me for permission, which will be cheerfully granted.

If you know someone who might be interested in using any, or all of my regular newspaper columns please pass this information on to them. Or send me their e-mail address, or telephone number, and I will be happy to send them the information.

Past issues of this newsletter are archived on my website.

Remember if you want the free e-book and phone seminars you must subscribe to this newsletter at the website.

I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to


Contact Information

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361

If you wish to no longer receive this newsletter please send a reply which includes "unsubscribe" and the existing subject line in the reply.

The subject line and the address to which it was sent must be included.