Dove with Branch
April 06, 2009 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

Life Without Anger has undertaken a project to teach emotional literacy training in all of the schools of Nepal, a country approximately the size of California in population.  The purpose of this project is to create a culture that will not only allow individuals to lead a more effective and rewarding life but will ultimately create world peace.  Their plan is to expand this project to all countries through the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) which is involved in the Nepal project.  The project is being carried out in Nepal by SEWA-Nepal (see


SEWA-Nepal is now in the process of introducing the LWA program in all schools in Nepal after completing pilot projects for the last year in six different schools.  So that everyone will be able to learn from this training, SEWA will work closely with Lumbini Buddhist University, UNESCO, the Ministry of Education and other Government agencies, and also private school associations to carry out its mission.  SEWA plans to expand its programs so that Emotional Literacy training will be available and can be utilized by every individual in Nepal. If you are interested in more information, or in supporting this program, we would be pleased to provide you with additional information.


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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, I work in a large office. There is a co-worker who is frequently telling off color sexual jokes in my presence. This is the only problem I have and otherwise our relationship is fine. I don't want to make trouble for him. All I want is for him to stop telling the jokes. I have asked him to stop but he doesn't seem to take me seriously. He is actually a decent guy and I enjoy being around him except when he is telling those horrible jokes. I don't want to cause any problems for him, but I want him to stop the jokes. I have told him to please stop but he just thinks it's funny and continues. How can I get him to stop without creating stress between us? - Gloria in TX

Dear Gloria, The problem seems to be that he hasn't really heard your message. So improve the telling and find a way to improve his listening. Be friendly but assertive. Let him know that "dirty jokes" are not okay with you. Tell him you value his friendship. Let him know that they are really hurtful and that not telling them is an essential part of your friendship. Ask him to do it as a personal favor, make the problem yours and not his and perhaps he will be more caring. If he cares he will be more helpful. If he doesn't care perhaps you need to take a more assertive approach and have the two of you talk with your supervisor to resolve the matter. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I like to keep my house clean. I do not allow anyone to wear shoes in the house. My children often ignore this rule. They play sports and then track dirt into the house. They also allow their friends to wear shoes even when they take their own off. I keep reminding them but they never pay any attention. What should I do? - Phyllis in CA

Dear Phyllis, It seems to me that you have a bigger problem than dirt. You need to find a way to get your children to pay attention to the rules. Explain what the rules are, the reason for the rule and what the consequences are. Then when the rule is violated, lovingly enforce the consequences without fail. I suggest including cleaning up the mess as part of the consequences. Idle threats and displays of anger are generally not effective and tend to create negativity in your relationship with your child. They also create a negative outlook on life in general because the child learns to resist what others direct her/him to do rather than to choose a response that is their own best interest. - 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

Recently Americans, almost in unison, have reacted in anger to the huge bonuses paid to the executives at AIG. This has created such a shock to our legislators that they have been mobilized to deal with the problem and create new laws to help in the future.

We can take a moment and congratulate ourselves for what our anger has accomplished. Because we have spoken our mind in a strong way our legislators have listened. It could also be a great time to reflect on how we could more effectively prevent or correct similar problems in the future. Perhaps we can develop an even more effective way of getting our legislatures to listen.

When we are upset about something anger can motivate us to action. If instead of using anger, when we recognize a problem we learn to respond from our positive problem solving mind we will be much more effective in finding solutions. This is because our positive emotions posses much more strength than anger. When we, and our legislators learn to release the anger and seek solutions based on our positive caring for a better world and a happier society we will find more effective answers, and create more effective rules to govern the behavior of our government, our financial institutions, and our society.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to make ourselves the victim of our own thinking. We grow up expecting certain things out of life, and when those things don't happen, we feel cheated. When something bad happens we tend to say, "What did I ever do to deserve this?" We find it difficult just to accept what happens because we get tied up in our own expectations and attachments. We put ourselves in the victim role whenever we deny that the feeling of being a victim actually originates in our own mind, and that it is just the choice we have made about how we look at what happened.

If you find yourself thinking in terms of "How can I possibly cope with this awful situation?" you are admitting that you are a victim. Thinking about how you can just get by is victim thinking. Instead we need to think in terms of, "I am in control here." "I am the boss of my life." Until you take over the control of your life in every way, you are making yourself a victim. "Taking control," means that you are the one who makes choices about your own life based on your independent needs and thinking. It means that you are not making your choices based on what someone, or everyone, is telling you that you must or must not do.

Refuse to become the victim of your own beliefs. Whenever you discover that you have beliefs that depreciate or upset you, don't allow them to remain. Examine them and make the necessary changes to align your beliefs with your truths.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things that others in you family do to take advantage of you.

Tuesday: Think about ways you can respond so that your family can no longer take advantage of you.

Wednesday: Think about the ways you are mistreated at work.

Thursday: Develop new ways of responding so that you will no longer be mistreated at work.

Friday: Think about how your friends and others in the community take advantage of you.

Saturday: Develop new ways of responding so that you will no longer be mistreated by others.

Sunday: Resolve to change any beliefs that allow you to be a victim.

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:

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