Dove with Branch
March 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 have a friend who has lots of troubles. He is always asking for my help and I end up giving it. The problem is that he doesn't seem to appreciate my help. He asks for my advice, ignores it, and then blames me when it doesn't work out. This leaves me upset. How can I get him to appreciate what I do for him? - Gerald in TX

Dear Gerald, You probably can't. You can however learn not to expect or require his appreciation. You can learn to think that your advice is given with love and without "strings of appreciation" attached. If this doesn't work for you, and you want to retain him as a friend, try telling him that you have no more advice to give. If you still feel a need to help, and to be appreciated, it might pay to find a different friend. Friendship should be based on love, and without stress. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have been married four times without success. I have found a wonderful man who is attentive and whom I love very much. My experience has been that things change once you marry. I am afraid to try again. I don't think I can accept another failure; but I am lonesome. Should I consider marriage? How can I make sure it would be successful? - Mandy in CA

Dear Mandy, If you want to consider marriage you should. Can you make sure it is a success? - No. Your first marriages gave you lessons. You can learn from the lessons, or repeat the mistakes. Some of them may have to do with choice, some with expectations, and some with your own behavior. Don't remarry until you have learned new thinking and behavior that will resolve those issues. Don't remarry because of need. Learning to be okay with being alone creates freedom in your relationship. - 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 humans are creative people. It is a well established physiological principle that we are able to create what we are able to envision. In other words; once we believe something is possible we keep working until we find a way to accomplish it. In aviation for example we have advanced from the Wright brothers to visiting the moon, and beyond. Why did we do this? It is because we believed it was possible. When we want something bad enough we keep working at it until we find a way. For example; Edison and the light bulb is an often repeated story in the realm of invention.

We have been slow to learn that we have the same control over our emotional processes as we do our mental processes. When we realize we have control over our emotional processes and learn how to do this we will find the way to peace, if we desire peace. We must begin the quest for peace by learning how to take control of our emotional process and make decisions in our own long range best interest.

The second part of the equation is for enough people to realize that peace is in their own best interest. Somehow we have equated the idea of freedom without peace and power to have what we want without the consideration of others as the primary good; and that peace must be sacrificed in this quest. When we learn to enjoy walking and visiting with our diverse neighbors on a two way street we will be ready to "discover" peace. In the meantime let's learn that to quit hurting each other is in our own best interest.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Most often the anger directed toward us is due to the other person having different expectations than our own. They are operating under the assumption that we will act toward them in a certain way; and when we don't, their anger is triggered. They may have very different beliefs and be totally unaware of our point of view or motivation; or they simply may be very different from us in many ways.

In dealing with another person's emotions, it is important to be aware of the fact that the other person wants something to come out of their relationship with you. The key is to understand their expectations, and to help them understand yours. < p align="justify">

Such mutual understanding is brought about by meaningful communication. Rather than expecting the other person to feel the same way as you do about the situation that has made them upset, make a real effort to find out how they are thinking about something. In order to get a good understanding of what's driving their upset, so that you can ultimately diffuse it, you need to hone your listening and communication skills. Train yourself to be a good listener by learning how to "listen deeply." To do this, you must put your own thoughts and beliefs on hold, and really focus on what the other person is saying.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: When someone is upset with you ask yourself why you think they are angry.

Tuesday: When someone is upset ask yourself what they are expecting from you.

Wednesday: When someone is angry with you ask yourself what different belief they have that is causing the upset.

Thursday: When someone is asking something from you find out exactly what they are expecting and why they do.

Friday: When you are asking something of someone make sure they understand exactly what you are expecting and why you expect it.

Saturday: When someone asks something from you try to understand their request from their point of view.

Sunday: Resolve to always be a good listener, and understand fully the meaning and feeling of what others are relating to you.

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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