Dove with Branch
February 08, 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, I am now retired and now no longer work outside of the home. To my surprise I have learned that my wife never does the breakfast dishes until after lunch. The mess in the sink looks terrible and makes it difficult to fix a snack. How can I get her to quit leaving dirty dishes in the sink during the day? - Craig in TX

Dear Craig, You can suggest doing something that she wants done in return for her doing the dishes. Better yet, do the dishes for her in trade for some other chore. Best of all, why don't you just do the dishes in a cheerful way and ask her if there are any more to do while you are at it? The dishes in the sink are a problem for you, but apparently not for her. Complaining and demanding others do things your way are not positive ways to solve problems. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I am writing to offer insight to Taylor in Washington (1/4). I totally agree that Taylor and her finance need to resolve this issue before they are married. Here are some things Taylor might want to consider. While spouses need to be committed to each other, you should also cultivate other friendships. It is good for each of you to have a circle of friends who enjoy things you like (that perhaps your spouse doesn't), as long as those relationships are not monopolizing the time you spend with each other. There should be a healthy balance. Taylor and her fiancÚ will have to decide (perhaps on a case by case basis) what that balance will be. Additionally, if Taylor makes the effort to be interesting in things her fiancÚ likes to do (and hopefully vice versa), she will enrich her relationship with him. If she doesn't want to fish, pull up a chair, bring a good book, and cheer on the boys when they make a catch. I have learned that being interested in what my husband likes strengthens our bond and I find myself enjoying most of these activities. Now if he'd just learn to like shopping! (big grins). - Claire in NM

Dear Claire, Thank you for the insights! - 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

If we use war only in self- defense and even then only as a toll of last resort we will have much less war in the world. If we use war as a tool of last resort we will only have war when we have a failure of imagination. As long as we are able to think of other possible solutions war will not become necessary.

When we examine the wars we have participated in we have discovered after the fact that many of them were not necessary: because peaceful solutions were possible and that many wars didn't produce the desired results anyway. We have often found that the price for war was too high, even when we were the victor. This being the case we would be well advised to seek a less drastic resolution of our differences. Fortunately we are reaching a place in the evolution of our consciousness and our thinking that we are capable of developing far more effective resolutions to our conflicts with other nations and other societies.

The price of war in human casualties and resources has become too high for us to bear! The ability for us to understand and resolve our differences has risen to the level that we are capable of resolving our differences. All that is left to do is for each nation to give up the need to impose their ways and ideas on other nations. We will be able to do this when society and the individuals in the society give up the idea of imposing our will on others. We must be willing to be equal parts of a unified whole with each having the freedom to being their own person, neighborhood, city, state and nation.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can accept disagreement without being disagreeable in return. We don't have to require that we be treated well. We can accept the way other people treat us, in the sense that we don't get upset about it. We can assert our boundaries and refuse to accept the other person's position, without getting angry or upset. If we believe in our self and our own truths, then we can let the other person have their own truths, and just refuse to be affected by them.

Do we want to be happy, or do we want to be right? Whenever we are attached to being right, we are convinced the other person is wrong and we are right. As long as we cannot accept the idea that maybe they are also right, or at least realize that it just doesn't matter, we can't be free of our negative emotions or experience happiness and peace of mind. The more we accept the other person's reality as being authentic, the less upset we become. < p align="justify">

As we become more accepting, we stop demanding that things go a certain way. It is part of our nature to want to give and receive love. When we demand things be a certain way, we are not giving love, and we seldom receive love in return when we don't give it. We get even less love when we give anger in return. Accept that there are many vantage points from which to look at the same thing. You can choose to change your way of looking at things to a way that is in line with happiness. The choice is yours.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I choose peace above all else.

Tuesday: Today I choose to be a peacekeeper.

Wednesday: Today I make peace my priority.

Thursday: Today I bless rather than condemn others.

Friday: Today I celebrate the positive things in my world.

Saturday: Today I cherish peace, giving it freely to others.

Sunday: Today my heart sings "peace begins with me."

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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