Dove with Branch
February 16, 2009 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 brother is very successful and quite rich. He runs a sales office in London. He does call mother from time to time but he says he never has the time to visit with her. He could have afforded to fly her to London if he wanted to see her. Mother has only a short time to live and says he can't get away for at least a month. Mother probably won't make it that long. Mother says she understands but I know she wants to see my brother. What can I do to get him to understand seeing mother is more important than any business deal? - June in MD

Dear June, You can tell him how you feel and try to make him understand how much it would mean to Mother and the whole family. If he doesn't come do not hold it against him. Mother has accepted it and you should too unless you want to lose a brother. Your brother is not perfect even in his own eyes. He has had to make some difficult life choices that only he can understand. Be willing to accept his choices. You seem to care about family. Do not double your losses just because you can't forgive your brother. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I am engaged to be married. My fiancée and I love each other very much but on the weekend he likes to go to the game with his friends. He invites me but I am not interested. I have tried to get him to do something that I enjoy but he is not willing to give up his games. I want to find a way we can do things together, what do you suggest? - Donna in IL

Dear Donna, I suggest you resolve this issue before you marry since you consider it an important one. A happy marriage requires agreement on important issues. If you do not have the ability to resolve important differences before marriage, you most likely will not have that ability during marriage. Even if you decide you can just put up with it, remember there will always be new issues arising. I do not suggest marriage if you don't have the ability to resolve your issues. - 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

Sometimes it pays to step back and look at things with a little broader perspective. We knew we were losing people in hospitals through carelessness. But we never really stopped to reflect on how serious the problem was and what we could do prevent those unnecessary deaths. When we got to the point that we were losing nearly 100,000 people a year we finally paid attention.

We finally decided it was a problem that needed fixing. We created a task force to come up with solutions. We developed new procedures to deal with the most common problems. It has been so successful that they now say we have saved over 128,000 thousand lives in the last 18 months.

This is a great example of what we can do when we pay attention, and start looking for solutions. Let's celebrate this success by taking on another project. We could spend more effort on several of our major problems such as traffic deaths, drug abuse, or smoking. War seems to be the problem that causes a lot of needless deaths and suffering. Let's pay as much attention to it! Maybe we can start by creating a Department of Peace to search for non- lethal solutions to conflict and even prevention of domestic abuse. We can learn and teach new beliefs that would avoid most of these problems.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Realize that what you are thinking may be hurting you.. Choose to replace your negative thoughts with loving positive thoughts.. People want to be loved. If you hold back your anger and give them love instead they will respond in a positive way.

When others are positive, it is easier for you to be positive. Ask yourself, "If I was feeling love, what would I do now?" Realize that the other person is not intentionally trying to hurt you. They are just doing the best they can. Do not blame other people for not playing by the rules. They are playing by the rules, "their rules." They are living their life, not yours. We all have some rules of our society that we do not accept. Others are entitled to reject different ones than you do.

Remember that you have no right to control other people. The fact that they have done something you think is wrong gives you no right to control them or try to change them, unless of course you are a policeman and a law has been violated. Remind yourself of this when you are upset at how others are acting. Once you tell yourself, "I do not control what other people do," it is easier to free yourself from the anger that results when others are not doing things the way you feel they should be done.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Make a list of the things that upset you the most about your family.

Tuesday: Think of a new positive way of feeling about each item on your list.

Wednesday: Think of the things that upset you the most about your work.

Thursday: Think of a new positive way of feeling about each item on your list.

Friday: Make a list of the things that upset you the most about your government.

Saturday: Think of a new positive way of feeling about each item on your list.

Sunday: Resolve to develop new positive responses for anything you find upsetting in your life.

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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