Dove with Branch
July 19, 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, Thank you for another excellent newsletter. About your message "Do you want to be right - or do you want to be happy:" I find that I often get into silly arguments over things my partner is doing wrong simple because they are wrong. It really doesn't matter that they are wrong about many things so I have slowly learned not to argue about things that don't really whether they are right or not. You are right it doesn't matter whether we had baked potatoes on Wednesday or Thursday. - Cheryl in NC

Dear Cheryl, Thanks for your comments. When we let go of the unimportant stuff we release a lot of anger production. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My spouse is a very poor cook. I tell her what I want for dinner and she never seems to get it right. What can I do to make her fix things the way they should be cooked? - Grady in MN

Dear Grady, Your wife is not here to be your servant, unless she agreed to fix the meals and just the way you like them before marriage. If you are not satisfied with the meals she prepares you always have the option of fixing them yourself. You most likely would find your meals prepared better if you compliment her, even when they are not. The more you compliment her for her successes the more she will be motivated to cook your meals the way you want them. Beside that, she will be more loving to you as well. When you complain about burnt toast something else is apt to not turn out the way you want. - 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

Sometimes it pays to step back and look at things with a little broader perspective. We knew we were losing people in hospitals through carelessness. But we never really stopped to reflect on how serious the problem was and what we could do prevent those unnecessary deaths. When we got to the point that we were losing nearly 100,000 people a year we finally paid attention.

We finally decided it was a problem that needed fixing. We created a task force to come up with solutions. We developed new procedures to deal with the most common problems. It has been so successful that we are saving over 80,000 thousand lives a year.

We finally decided it was a problem that needed fixing. We created a task force to come up with solutions. We developed new procedures to deal with the most common problems. It has been so successful that we are saving over 80,000 thousand lives a year.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Anger exposes our weaknesses. It causes us to lose control and to act in dogmatic ways. We make foolish decisions, we waste time and energy, and we may become obsessed with our self and the people we are angry with. We antagonize the people we love, and we lose friends. We do crazy, destructive, sometimes illegal things. We have stress, high blood pressure, intestinal problems, heart problems, and other physical discomforts.

We have all heard of the placebo effect. It is sometimes referred to as wellness thinking. Because we believe something is going to cure us it does. It is such a strong effect that all research on medicines is done without letting the patient know whether he is taking the real medicine or just a sugar pill. The opposite also applies. When we think we are going to get sick we most generally do. If we want to be happy and well it is extremely important to believe that we are. A recent study of the immune system shows that constant negative emotions cause certain cells in the immune system not to reproduce thus weakening the immune system and shortening an angry person's life by an average of eleven years.

Take a few moments and think about what fear and anger are costing you. Think of the friends and opportunities you have lost because of them. Think of some of the things you wanted to do that they have held you back from doing. Think of some of the things that you have not gotten because of your negative emotions - or those of others. Is the price of anger too high for you.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you get upset when others act in ways that you believe they should not.

Tuesday: Think about things that upset you but do not upset other people.

Wednesday: Think about things that upset other people but do not upset you.

Thursday: Think about how you use anger to control the actions of other people.

Friday: Think about ways to control the actions of other people without being angry.

Saturday: Think about ways to control the actions of other people without being angry.

Sunday: Resolve to accept the rules of other cultures as 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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