Dove with Branch
September 28, 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 come from a large family, just as Sandra (9/14) does. The loving and caring we do for each other brings joy to my life. The real joy in the life of large families is the loving and caring we do for each other. If it seems the family is lined up against you I suggest you take a hard look at why this is happening. If the rest are getting along your differences may be caused by the way that you are relating to them. You may need to change a little to fit in. Think about it! You may find it worth changing a little. - Cindy in CA

Dear Cindy, You are right to consider changing to fit in with the rest of the family because the rewards are great. Consider also that it may be a matter of respect. You may be able to learn how to stand in your own truth with out defending it and attacking theirs and have their respect. For most people respecting you is more important than your being just like them. - the Dean

Dear Dean, We had a large family reunion this summer with everyone there except my sister Sharon. She lives only two hours away but couldn't fit it into her plans. I know of no real reason she couldn't have made the time if she wanted to be there. She could have found the time if she really wanted to come. This is the last time she will be invited to a party at my place. - Barbara in NJ

Dear Barbara, I don't know about your sister's problem and why she couldn't attend, but it is evident that you have an anger problem. Being angry when others don't do what you like is just a learned behavior that is not very effective in creating loving relationships. Your sister has reasons which you may be totally unaware of for not attending. Allow her to make her decisions on her own basis instead of your desires; and respect her for them. You might tell her you really missed her and let her know everyone hopes that she can make it next time. - 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

As a people we have embraced the idea of an end to warfare and that we would like to live in peace. But at the same time we have not accepted the idea that our world can be peaceful. We see it as a world where we are all competing for limited resources and if we don't prevail, we won't survive. We believe in survival of the fittest so we see life as a struggle to survive.

If we stop and reflect for a moment we will realize that we are using much of those "limited resources" just for the struggle. We use about half of our national resources in this country just to support our fight for survival (supremacy) as a nation. We make our legal system an adversarial system and give half the resources (money) to the warriors (lawyers). If we could just double our available resources by learning to get along with each other, and find peaceful resolutions to our problems we could double the standard of living for everyone! The petroleum we use to provide for our military needs could be used to solve our current gasoline shortage problem. It would release a lot of our mental energy for finding long term solutions to our energy needs as well.

When we can't think beyond our present need for preservation we don't do a good job of providing for the future. Let's start looking more outside the box for solutions to our problems. Let's look more for solutions that will enrich our quality of life. Let's be more open to change. We know things aren't working exactly the way we want them to be. Let's be more respectful of others, they are trying to solve the same problems. They are just working with a different vision. Let's work on creating a new common vision and then work on solving our common problems together.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

In dealing with others, the best rule is to start from a place of trust, realizing and accepting that you could be wrong. People tend to respond to you in the same way that you act. You will receive more trust if you offer trust. If you offer distrust, then that is what you usually get back.

If you want to be free of negative emotions, you will need to choose trust. It is well worth the risk of a few disappointments because the only way you are going to find many rewarding relationship is to give them a chance. In order to find rewarding relationships you have to offer trust and see how it works out. If you don't get trust back, well it was going to happen sooner or later, and you have done your best. This is just one of those things in life that we need to takes risks on if we are going to have a rewarding life.

But remember it is a calculated risk that, while you have some failures, is the only way to get the big rewards. One of my personal rules is that I would much rather trust someone and end up being wrong than to not trust them and be wrong. When we trust we create the possibility of something really good happening. When we don't trust we are shut down and even though we may prevent a possible grief - we have not created a possibility for something good to happen.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how the people you trust treat you.

Tuesday: Think about how the people you don't trust treat you.

Wednesday: Ask yourself if those you distrust might respond differently if you trusted them.

Thursday: Think about the opportunities you miss in life simply because you don't trust.

Friday: Realize that nothing good can happen unless you trust others.

Saturday: Be willing to accept a few failures in order to achieve more and better relationships.

Sunday: Resolve to offer trust so that you can receive trust.

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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