Dove with Branch
June 01, 2009 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk

The World Emotional Literacy League in conjunction with World Without Anger and Lumbini Buddhist University has taken on the task of introducing emotional literacy training in the educational system of Nepal nationwide. In support of that program I will be conducting workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops will provide an introduction to the emotional skills training program as well as an introduction to establishing emotional skills training programs in your local area. The program and my workshops are based on my textbook "Emotional Intelligence - Taking Control of Your Life."

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, Business relationships have become very casual and informal. Sometimes workers on the production line even call me by my first name. I have earned the respect through schooling and hard work. I should be paid the respect I am due. . I get e-mail saying hi to me. I think I deserve more respect than that. - Harold in NC

Dear Harold, If it is your company, you can probably have it any way you want it. However, the person who calls you by your first name may feel that he is respecting you by considering you his equal and his friend when using your first name. He wants friendship - you want respect. You are the boss; decide how you want it in your company. When you are doing that, think about what will be the most productive and friendliest working conditions for your employees. You may want to reconsider the idea that people owe you something just because of your position. - the Dean

Dear Dean, A worker in my office is causing many hard feelings. She is trying to get ahead by making other people look bad. She blames others for her mistakes and tries to take credit for our work. She tries to make my supervisor think I am not doing a good job. How do I solve this problem? - Marla in MN

Dear Marla, By doing nothing about it! If you enter into the game your fellow worker is playing, it will only cause you more trouble. Your supervisor is not stupid, and will be able to figure out what is going on. You both will ultimately be recognized for what you are contributing. Don't let this negatively affect your performance. Do you're best and if it isn't recognized in a positive way then you need to find a place to work where you will be recognized. - the Dean

I welcome questions and/or comments from our readers. Send your Ask the Dean questions or comments to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437, or visit to submit by e-mail.

Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

Let's teach our children a better lesson! Let's teach them that they should consider other viewpoints when making a decision. Because of our exaggerated viewpoint about right and wrong - especially when it comes to political parties - we teach our children to keep telling other people how stupid they are. They learn their lessons from what they see us doing. Is this the example we want to set for them?

When we learn this behavior and talk to those who don't agree, we become entrenched in our positions, and are unable to understand the other person's point of view. No-one is influenced by the others' words and we end up in arguments that sometimes deteriorate into fights. The only way we can enjoy life is to be around others who think like we do - unless of course we truly enjoy being mean spirited and making the lives of others unhappy. We are like spoiled children who must always have our way.

Remember that if we had the same belief that another person had, we would think like they do. They are honest people acting in their own beliefs about what is right and wrong. Learn to respect the other person's point of view, and pass that lesson on to your children. Others will listen to us when they realize that we respect them for who they are. It is an important lesson to learn. Until the people of the world learn this lesson we will not live together in peace. If we work together, we can learn to come up with positive solutions that will work better for all of us. When we vilify those who disagree we will not find peace.

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 else, is telling you that you must, or must not, do.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if you are absolutely sure it is true.

Tuesday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if it is based on your own independent thinking.

Wednesday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if this belief actually helps you in life.

Thursday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself how much it has helped you so far.

Friday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself how it will affect your life in the future.

Saturday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself how it fits in with your other beliefs.

Sunday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if there is a better belief to replace it with.

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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