Dove with Branch
June 28, 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 doesn't like the car I drive and she mentions it constantly. I tell her that I don't like to be criticized, but she says "Friends should let each other know what they think." I don't think that friends should criticize each other, am I right? - Jan in WA

Dear Jan. If what someone thinks of you is of no value or hurtful to you then you will want to avoid them - or get over it. Many think it is really great to have someone they can trust to give them an honest opinion. You might remind her that she has already let you know how she feels. If I had a friend who was doing this to be helpful I would appreciate it very much. If what they said upset me, then I would try to examine and change how I feel about it. Friends sometimes bring out our insecurities. If they are doing it in a loving way then we can be thankful. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My son- in-law doesn't like me. He won't invite me to his home or even won't carry on a conversation with me. I have a granddaughter that I have never even seen because he won't allow my daughter to bring them to my home. My daughter has chosen to abide by his wishes even though I know it hurts her very much. He doesn't even allow her to call or write. He won't even say why he is upset with me. How can I find a way to see my daughter and granddaughter whom I love very much? - Corrie in NE

Dear Corrie, If he refuses to talk to you and you are unable to talk to your daughter as well, then gracious acceptance of the situation is probably your best bet in the long run. Perhaps time will change things. Have great compassion for your daughter and try not to make things more difficult for her than they already are. For whatever reason, she has chosen to abide by her husband's wishes. It was most likely not an easy choice for her. Try not to add to her suffering by showing your pain to her. Telling her that you understand without saying more would be a great gift under the circumstances. - 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

Until after World War II our nation did not enter into war except to protect our own territory or to help another nation protect its borders. Since then we have entered into several wars because what we thought was happening within a country was not in our own personal interest. Now if we do not like what is happening within a country we feel we should step in and make things right, according to our interest.

We have reached the point where we will start a war if we don't like the way things are being done. This idea that we know what is right and we are justified to be policemen for the world because we are the only ones powerful and pure enough to do so should be reconsidered. We too often find ourselves being the world bully. If others don't comply with our "orders" we are willing to resort to violence to enforce our way.

It is true those disputes need to be resolved and someone needs to do it. I believe that this can only be possible when done through the United Nations. We must all work together. One country can't do it; even if it is with the best of intentions. Some say we need to do it because the United Nations can't. I believe the solution is to change the United Nations so it can. It may not be easy but it seems to be the only workable solution.

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.

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: Realize that it is not necessary to be offended when others disagree with you.

Tuesday: Realize that it is not necessary that other people accept your beliefs as true.

Wednesday: Accept and expect that others have truths that are different from your own.

Thursday: Do not get upset when others refuse to accept your truths.

Friday: Do not insist that others should believe as you do.

Saturday: Do not insist that others do things your way.

Sunday: Resolve to accept that the beliefs of others are appropriate for them.

Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist, conducts workshops and is the author of Life Without Anger 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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