Dove with Branch
September 14, 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, I came from a large family that was close through several generations and lots of cousins. I am always there for my brothers and sisters, but they don't seem to care about me or my problems. They don't even invite me to their homes n holidays. How can I get them to help me when I need it?< b> -Sandra in MN

Dear Sandra, Perhaps you can't. They have no obligation to help you just as you have no obligation to help them. If they still feel loving toward you they will most likely help. They may not want your help, at least in the way you offer it. They may feel helpless to help you. If they are not supporting you in the way they do each other then it would do well to find out why they are treating you differently. Ask them in a nice way! If you are giving them support but expecting something in return then you are not "giving" them support. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I often go to the park in the evenings. There is a couple that comes there and argues openly with each other, and they complain about everyone else in the neighborhood, their family and people at work. The problem I have is that they are loud and argumentative and end up calling each other names. I have asked them to please be quiet and others have spoken to them as well but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Do you have any suggestions? - Harold in KS

Dear Harold, Find another park? You do have other options. You could let them know nicely that you (and perhaps others) are upset and ask if they would speak more quietly. You might let them know that you (and perhaps others) will be leaving if it continues. You could even offer to drive them to another park. Check to see if they are violating any municipal or park rules and seek enforcement. You always have the option of choosing not to be disturbed by their behavior. - 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 say we are a free society but what do we mean by that? When someone is curious about our age, for instance, do we give them the emotional freedom to ask; or are we upset by their question? I believe freedom should include giving people the right to be the way they want to be without emotionally attacking them or resisting them, just because you don't like what they are doing.

People who are raised in different cultures have different values. Since we are a multi-cultural society we have a lot of different and sometimes conflicting values in our common society. Instead of embracing and respecting those values that are different than our own, we often judge them. We sometimes go so far as to try to eliminate the way others do things just because we don't think they are appropriate.

If we are going to honor freedom then let's give up the idea of creating a "cookie cutter" society and embrace the differences. If you are uncomfortable with the values of others, consider honoring and accepting them instead of resisting and trying to change them. Freedom includes embracing the rights of others to be how they want to be. We have come a long way. Women have the right to vote. We all get to eat in the same restaurant. Let's give up the idea of trying to make others do something just because we think it is the way things should be done. We can only enjoy life when we allow all others the opportunity to enjoy life as well!

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can change the world by changing our thoughts about it. When we learn to change our basic beliefs about things, we have the capacity to look at life - and everything else that happens to us - differently. This process is referred to as changing our belief system. When we do this, we even change the system of cause and effect. How does this work? Once we've changed our view of the world, things will not work the same for us as they did before. The same events that we were experiencing in the past will now inspire different responses than they did before - and thus different results.

Our belief system is an extremely complex system that contains all of the things that we have learned in our whole life. These are all the beliefs that we have been taught and accept as being true. Our beliefs determine how we think the world works and embody the truths we hold to be self-evident and accept without question. In order to make meaning out of any new input to our mind we always compare this new information to our existing belief system.

If we want to change the way we feel, then we must change our beliefs. You'll be able to experience a wonderful new way of life if you can just alter your beliefs to encompass wonderful expectations of life. This is because what you believe will happen is what will happen. Almost always we find the world out there to be the world we expect it to be. So for the world to seem good to you, it is essential that you expect that it will be good.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I recognize I create my own personal view of the world just by the way I think about things.

Tuesday: I recognize that if I don't like what is happening and I am powerless to change it and that I will remain unhappy unless I change how I feel about it.

Wednesday: I recognize that I can make my world better just by thinking it is better.

Thursday: I recognize that if I accept what is happening is just how the world works it is not necessary to remain unhappy.

Friday: I recognize my beliefs were created by the things I have learned from others.

Saturday: I resolve to examine any belief that results in my unhappiness.

Sunday: I resolve to change any belief I hold that results in my unhappiness.

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

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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