Dove with Branch
October 05, 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, My mother was still telling me what I should cook for dinner and even what time we should eat our meals until I was twenty- eight years old. She said she did it because I didn't know how. I finally decided I need to be free of her control. I told her that she was right and that I was never going to learn until I did it for myself. She understood and after a few glowing errors I am now doing pretty well. - Shannon in AR

Dear Shannon, Great work! You were assertive in a positive way and solved the problem without creating stress between the two of you. Congratulations! - the Dean

Dear Dean, We have a bully in our neighborhood that is always making fun of me. He makes fun of the clothes I wear and the games I play. He even makes fun of the way I talk. No matter what I do he makes fun of me. It upsets me so much that I don't even want to go out and play. I tell him how much it hurts, but that only encourages him to do more. How can I get him to stop? - Brad in UT

Dear Brad, He keeps picking on you because you allow yourself to be upset. He is someone who enjoys creating pain for others. When you understand this and accept yourself as being okay no matter what he says you will be able deflect his attacks without being upset. When you do the fun will be over for him and he will stop. What is even more important, you will learn to like yourself, and life. - 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

Periodically I write about how we should make our political and social decisions with a consideration of all points of view. In our government we have a two party system with majority party rule. When the parties are more evenly divided; or in a spirit of cooperation, we talk about using a bipartisanship approach. The bipartisanship approach however considers only the views of the two parties. I believe we should develop the transpartisanship approach to government. Transpartisanship recognizes the existence and validity of many points of view. It advocates a constructive dialogue aimed at considering all points of view and arriving at solutions that meet the needs of everyone.

Transpartisianship is being increasingly employed by companies, universities, non-profit, and citizen groups for finding resolution to problems. If we are going to be an inclusive society that lives together in peace, we would benefit greatly if we would employ this concept at all levels of government. We can benefit from this concept in politics, culture, economics and other aspects of our society as well.

We can learn to share all viewpoints openly and honestly. Disagreements over issues need not undermine consensus if all parties are willing to search for an answer that accommodates all points of view. We will be able to find previously unanticipated solutions that can satisfy everyone.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

One of the most difficult lessons we have to learn is to let go of the past and to judge a situation based on its present merits. Something that worked for us when we were ten years old may no longer work very well today. When something becomes a negative experience or feeling in your life you need to take the time to open it up and examine it. Find what is causing you to feel that way. Decide whether it is something you can change, or fix in some way, in order to make it positive again. If it is possible, fix it. If not, then it is time to let go. Start the process of changing sooner rather than later.

Once you have made the decision to let go of a negative attachment, the next step is to make the commitment to release it. Have faith that the attachment can be released. And finally go through the work of breaking the old habit and putting the desired new one in its place. Some of us have the skills to let go of attachments quickly. For others, it can take more time and effort.

How quickly you release an attachment determines how much pain you experience. Releasing an unwanted attachment will bring you back to joy and happiness. Realize that if you give up the process of letting go of the negative attachment before you finish, you will be back where you started. You will have the same old problem and will have to either live with it, or start the process of change all over again. The good news is that it will be easier the second time.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Make a list of all the things in your life that upset you.

Tuesday: Think about each of the things on your list and determine why it upsets you.

Wednesday: Think about the things on your list and determine if you still want to keep them in your life.

Thursday: Think about each of the things on your list and determine if you can make some change/s to make it better.

Friday: Think about the things that are actually okay and you are willing to accept them.

Saturday: Decide to release all of the negative things or conditions you are unwilling or unable to change.

Sunday: Resolve to accept those things you wish to keep but cannot change.

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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