Dove with Branch
October 26, 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, Our son is just starting his senior year of college and plans to graduate this spring. He has worked as a plumber's apprentice during the last two summers. He has been offered and accepted a job as a plumber when he finishes college. He could take the job now but wants to finish his degree first. He loves the work but he thinks the degree will improve his life and it is worth the money and the effort. My husband is a doctor but neither of us have been disappointed that he did not follow his father. Being happy is more important than paycheck or status. - Laurel in MO

Dear Laurel, He has chosen to be a plumber but still wants to finish up the degree he has started. What a wise child! You are lucky to have him and lucky that you can appreciate him. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My brother is getting married in December. We have received an invitation to the wedding which states no small children are invited. I have two toddlers and I believe the family would enjoy getting to see them. I live several hours away and can't afford child care for that time. Shouldn't they be allowed to come to the wedding? - Bristol in OH

Dear Bristol, I am no wedding planner but the answer is; I think it depends on the bride and groom, mother, or whoever is planning the wedding. There is no right answer except that the wedding is generally the focus and whoever is putting on the event gets to decide. Can it be done in the best interest of everyone? No it can't! Perhaps there is someone in the family who would enjoy the children that don't want to attend the ceremony but would enjoy the children. - 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

Peace can only come from within the individual. Peace cannot be imposed on people. No matter how enlightened some concept or philosophy may seem if it is not embraced by most individuals it will not create peace. It is the nature of humans to resist the things they do not understand or accept. If a concept is not accepted by society then that concept will not survive peacefully because we humans will continue to resist what we do not accept of our own free will. Thus the great revolutions we see in our history.

However true this is, it remains the nature of mankind to seek peace. To humans, love feels good, and fear and anger feel bad. We grew up in a world where the strong have dominated the weak. In our early society, before we had laws, strength; either individually, or that of the community or nation was the way we survived. Tribes banded together for their survival. Other tribes who were more aggressive banded together to provide for themselves by taking from the weaker and less aggressive tribes.

As our society evolved we saw that great power as well as wealth was to be desired. However, as we evolved intellectually we came to realize that those in power tended to look out for their own self-interests rather than those of the group. As people became more aware they refused to accept the leader of power. As the people became strong enough they began to overthrow their abusive leadership and replace it with leadership whose power is derived from the consent of the governed. That process is still going on today in many parts of the world. It is still being perfected and improved everywhere it exists as the people grow more in awareness. Gradually those governments who want to take power over their own, or other people, by force are finding it more difficult to do so.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

It is within the power of each of us to have a life in which we always choose to respond from our positive emotions and no longer experience the negative ones. Not having anger is such a freeing feeling. You never have to go to bed at night trying to figure out how to get even. You no longer have to judge how other people are acting. You just accept the world as it is presented to you. You spend your time thinking about the best way to make it work for you. You are able to focus on making decisions that allow you to fully enjoy life. And you do fully enjoy life.

Just knowing that a life free of fear and anger is available to you once you make the choice to enjoy it; will make you feel better immediately. Choose to take control of your own life. Don't leave it in the hands of anyone who happens to annoy you. Although opportunities to be angry will be offered to you at every turn, you always have the option of refusing to accept them. When you realize that it is your own thinking that has to change, and not other people's behavior, you become capable of making the choice to take control of your anger and your life.

The management of our emotions is subject to the laws of learning, as is everything else we do. Once we learn that a more desirable way to deal with our emotions is available, and we see the value in developing more effective thinking, we are motivated to make the change. Once we learn how to make the change, it is just a matter of doing the work.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I realize that it is my own thinking that upsets me.

Tuesday: I realize that if I change my thinking it is no longer necessary to be upset.

Wednesday: I recognize the value of not becoming upset when things happen.

Thursday: I recognize that I am capable of changing the way I think about things.

Friday: I see the value of no longer becoming upset by things.

Saturday: I choose to take control of my own feelings and not let then be controlled by the actions of others.

Sunday: I resolve that when I become upset I will learn new positive thoughts to replace the upsetting ones.

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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