Dove with Branch
January 25, 2010 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, If my husband is to expect a loving relationship with me he must listen to my needs. If I need someone to listen to my problems and lend a sympathetic ear he should be willing to do that. If he doesn't learn to listen I am just going to go elsewhere to find someone to listen. All too often women end up having an affair because they are attracted to other men who will listen to them. It would be a wise thing for my husband to pay attention to my needs. - Shannon in MI

Dear Shannon, Yes it would be the wise thing for your husband to pay attention and be sympathetic to your needs, as well as you to his. There are better solutions than looking elsewhere available that would not end in breaking up the marriage. If that is the biggest problem with a marriage it can be solved with a little understanding and work; and perhaps some counseling. Most marriages that end in divorce are due to lack of skill in finding a way to get our needs met. Once we get angry we stop getting and receiving love and the marriage falls apart. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My husband has decided that he knows all the answers and is always telling me what I should do. How can we have a good relationship when he is the one who decides what we must do? - Hannah in CO

Dear Hanna, By deciding not to pay any attention to him, by not listening to him, by not asking for his advise, by respecting his advise and considering it. You have many choices in how you wish to respond to his habit of giving advice when being presented with a problem. If you think a satisfactory relationship is having things your way then of course as long as you look at the situation and think you are not having things your way then the relationship will not be satisfactory. He may or may not have the same problem but if you just follow his directions you won't be able to work out this important issue. -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 are the society. Society should be organized so that it works well for us all. If we have some way of doing things that has become customary for our society and it is not working well for us then we should be willing to develop a new way of doing things that will be more effective for us.

When we reach this conclusion and try to develop a better way of doing things we find ourselves intimidated by the special interest groups that benefit from the way things are done presently. They operate through the media and in their lobbying before government bodies. Let's learn to recognize them for what they are - special interest groups who have a stake in the outcome and want the legislation to benefit their special interests.

Somehow we have gotten the idea that they are too powerful and that we can't create legislation that goes against their special interests. In our system of government it is the votes that count, not the money. If the money is buying the votes then we can elect new representatives who have not been and will not be bought by the money. It would help if we would change the way we elect our politicians so they don't need the money to get elected. The present system just makes the problem of the votes following the money more difficult to solve. Let's devise a way of electing politicians without them having to spend money to get elected and we will solve a lot of our inequities in the present system.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Have you ever asked yourself, "Why can't I forgive that person?" "Why can't I forgive myself?" or "Why can't I let go of the anger and forgive?" We can always come up with a reason why we should not forgive. The most common one is: "It was their fault. They deserve my anger." (Or, "I'm to blame - how can I ever forgive myself?") Our society teaches us that people should pay for their mistakes, whether they are intentional, or not. This comes from the ancient idea of "an eye for an eye." We have been taught that when we are wronged, we must punish the wrongdoer, and that; "Such behavior just cannot be tolerated - you must pay for it," and "The guilty must be caught and punished."

Raised with such societal beliefs about guilt and punishment, we think we must make others suffer as punishment for having offended us. We believe we must return the hurt to get even. But thinking in this way produces an emotional response rather than an effective reasoned response that allows us to maximize our life experience. We would be more effective if our primary focus was on preventing more of this kind of behavior instead of on making someone pay for his or her mistakes. < p align="justify">

Someone may have killed a loved one of ours in an unfortunate automobile accident. Regardless of whether it was carelessness, or not even the other person's fault, we find it difficult to forgive them. If you cannot forgive, that person now has the power over you. He is controlling your life in a very negative way. As long as you hold the anger, you are continuing to be hurt. This is a bit like being sick and saying to the doctor, "I want to keep this pain, so please don't make me well." The lesson is that forgiveness is for your own benefit and has nothing to do with what the other person did and whether you are letting them off the hook or not.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I celebrate the things that unify us.

Tuesday: Today I pray for peace in my world.

Wednesday: Today I affirm that there will be peace in my world.

Thursday: Today I write a loving note to someone.

Friday: Today I offer peaceful words and actions.

Saturday: Today I practice nonviolence.

Sunday: Today I thank others for their peaceful words and actions.

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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