Dove with Branch
March 22, 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, My husband never listens to what I am saying. If I want an answer have to practically hit him over the head. If there is a football or basketball game on I have to wait until it is over to have any chance of getting his attention. Can you suggest something to help me get his attention? - Darla in NC

Dear Darla, At least you are able to get him to listen part of the time. Be thankful for that. You have is a serious problem of timing. He has just as much right to determine the timing as you do. Many people have the idea that if they want to talk, the other person is obligated to listen. He has just as much right to set the timing for a discussion as you do. Talking takes both a sender and a receiver and they both have equal rights. Talk only when he is ready to listen and your discussions will be much more effective, and friendlier.- the Dean

Dear Dean, I have been married four times and my marriages have failed. I have found a wonderful man that I love very much. However, I have found that things change when you marry. I am afraid to try again, I can't stand another failure, but I am lonesome. Should I consider marriage? How can I make sure it would be successful? -Barbara in IL

Dear Barbara, If you want to consider marriage you should. Can you make sure it is successful? - 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

As humans banded together; at first in small communities and then in ever larger social structures we developed rules about how we should live and function together. These are the rules that have become the laws and traditions which determine how our society functions. These structures were created at a time when we were concerned primarily with our safety and when we had little trust that others would follow the rules voluntarily.

We developed solutions that did not look beyond the immediate problem we were trying to solve and did not contemplate changes that would occur in the future. Conditions changed and needs changed but rules changed only a little. Our rules and laws are bound by the traditions of the past that are difficult to change.

We need to exam these structures in some detail to determine possible changes that will bring them into harmony with our objective of creating a harmonious framework for our society. Our objective is to create a framework that will make it possible for each of us on this planet to experience a peaceful and joyful life. In working to create peace we need to examine each of our society's operating systems to determine their goals and purpose. We need to discover the stresses and obstacles created by the way they presently function. We need to have a general understanding of the functioning and objectives of each of these areas. This will allow us to be able to create productive changes that will help to align these systems more closely with our need to function effectively and to be creative in a Peaceful World.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

When entering into a marital or partnering relationship consider the idea of the partners actually creating the relationship as a third party. When you do this, you are able to look at the relationship in a more detached and objective way. The relationship takes on a life of its own. The two of you are working together to create a separate entity which is the relationship itself.

You can look at what each of you want the relationship to be and what each of you is able to bring to the relationship. This allows you to be able to discuss the health of the relationship without taking it so personally. You have now created a model of what you want the relationship to be in some detail. And you have a method you can use once you enter into the relationship for examining the stresses without criticizing the other partner. < p align="justify">

During the relationship you will be able to quickly identify when any of the initial goals or contributions by either party have changed; and what work needs to be done to make it well. Also, you are more able to focus on the issues without personal incrimination and to negotiate change where needed. It is easier to focus on creating what you want. When something goes wrong you can more easily focus on what is wrong and how to fix it because you have already agreed about how you want it to be.

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:

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about your vision of your relationship with your partner.

Tuesday: Think about your partners' vision of the relationship.

Wednesday: Work with your partner to create a common vision of the relationship that is acceptable to both of you.

Thursday: Think about the things you need to do to realize that vision.

Friday: Think about the things you believe your partner should do to support the partnership.

Saturday: Discuss a plan for each of you to reach the goals of the partnership.

Sunday: Rejoice in the enjoyment of a common vision and a united experience.

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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