Dove with Branch
June 22, 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."

I have taken on the task of supporting the teaching of emotional skills training in the educational system with the trust and hope, that many in your community will be able to share in the vision of this great work, and join us in this amazing project. We are promoting a "Sponsor a School" program to raise awareness and support throughout the U.S. & Canada If you have any interest in the program and/or having a workshop in your area. Contact me for additional information.

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My husband and I were arguing all of the time. He just gradually quit talking to me and I got more upset and he got more quiet. Finally I realized my problem and started complementing the little things he did well in a caring way. Gradually he started to talk to me again and now that I am not complaining he is willing to share his problems with me and has become more loving. - Lois in CA

Dear Lois, We all want to be loved and we don't enjoy receiving the opposite. Your husband shut down because he didn't want to hear more of what he was hearing. When you would argue he didn't want to hear that, so his response was to quit talking to you so he wouldn't hear it anymore. If we want love we have to give love and when we give love we get love. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My husband just does not seem interested in his family. He comes home from work depressed and he doesn't want to do anything except watch TV and get even more upset about what is going on in the world. Dinner and two beers and that's it for the night. On the weekend he is off to ball games with his friends. How can I make him be a part of the family and do things with us? - Pamela in IN

Dear Pamela, You can't make him do anything. We all have the right to do what we want. There are things you can do so that he will want to be part of the family. Start by being loving, and supportive of his choices. Find a way to bring him back to family concerns by making them positive and interesting to him. He is coming home depressed. If you can't help him out of that then consider professional help. It is difficult for someone who is depressed to be interested in others. Administer all the love and tender loving care that he is open to receive. - 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

We humans have a great power of rationalization. We have the ability to see a particular event or set of facts in a way that supports our position. We find this of such great value that we even have debate teams in school where we learn and compete at this skill. We think that it is more important for our point of view to prevail than it is to determine the facts about something. The points that don't agree with our view we twist or ignore.

Why do we do this? I believe it is because we live in a world where power is more important than truth. He who has the power gets all the "goodies" regardless of the truth of the matter. That is the way we have created our society. Because of this, the power of persuasion is an important skill in our society. When we have this viewpoint, prevailing over others is more important than being at peace with others.

If we are going to create a peaceful world society, we must learn to replace this old way of thinking with a viewpoint that both searches for the truth and respects the viewpoint of others. When we are all trying to prevail over others, when we are not willing to accept less, there is no possibility of peace. Peace cannot be obtained through power! That is why so many of us think that peace is not possible. We can have peace when we are willing to accept not having it "our way" all of the time. Change our goal and we can find peace. As it is sometimes said, we need to shift from the love of power to the power of love.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Perhaps you're saying to yourself, "He is the one who makes me angry. I need him to change." This attitude is guaranteed to produce anger. If you can't accept your mate, or your colleague, or your child the way he or she is your relationship is not going to be a happy one. This is something that we must do in order to have a rewarding relationship. Choose to let go of every goal where your peace of mind depends on other people changing. Learn to think, "I love you just the way you are."

It is especially hard with our children because we didn't choose them but it is our job to train them. When they turn out to be different from the way we are training them we often have so such emotion invested in the value of our work that we are upset when the results are not as we intended for them to be.

If another person gives us a lot of negative stuff, we always have the option of no longer having that person in our life. Learn to think, "You are entitled to your own goals and way of living." Your choice is whether you want that person in your life or not. Unless they want to be different and ask you for help changing, realize the problem is yours and not theirs.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Realize it is not what other people do, but your opinion about what they do that makes you angry.

Tuesday: Realize that other people act appropriately according to their own beliefs.

Wednesday: Realize that the beliefs you hold are based on your own special upbringing and training.

Thursday: Realize that other people are trying to get along in the world the best way they know how, just as you are.

Friday: Think about the problems your anger causes you.

Saturday: Realize that any time you got angry it was because you chose to.

Sunday: Resolve that when you get angry you will determine the belief that caused your anger and change it.

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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