Dove with Branch
July 26, 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 smokes in the house. This makes the house very unpleasant. It is unhealthy and is not a good example for our children. How can I get him to stop smoking? - Lynda in NC

Dear Lynda, Unless he made an agreement with you not to smoke before you married, the question should be, "How do we get him to stop smoking in the house?" He has a right to smoke. He doesn't have a right to expose you to it. You could leave the house; or even the marriage. Hopefully you can find a better solution. If he is unwilling to go outside, or into a certain room alone, you are left with a difficult choice. Look for alternatives until you find the one that works for you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, Regarding your ask the Dean about dealing with a difficult day at work: Another choice is to take a few minutes somewhere between work and home, even if you have to pull off to the side of the road, and just take the time to relax and get centered before you go home. - Vance in CA

Dear Vance, Good suggestion! The main point is to learn to avoid negativity, but the most important thing you can do when you experience it is to take action to remove it. So many just continue on and allow the negativity to poison their future conduct. When we find we have a problem the best course is to deal with it immediately. If we are unable to deal with it successfully then we should take the time to examine it more closely and to learn new ways to deal with the problem. - 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 have developed a habit of thinking of people who have different concepts and ideas about how to solve our social problems as wrong, and we spend our time telling them how stupid they are - and how sm art we are. We think we are right and they are wrong.They would be wrong if they were required to look at the world the same way we do - but they are not.

In a democracy we get to keep our beliefs - but we vote on which particular solutions we use to govern our society. This concept requires that we accept the will of the majority and protect the rights of the minority - sometimes a difficult thing to do. If we want our society to be peaceful and productive we must accept our rules without resistance. If they don't work out the way that is good for society as a whole we will get a chance to change them.

When we feel the existing rules are not working we would benefit far more by looking for new positive solutions that others will see value in - and promoting those ideas - than we would just trying to tear down the existing ways because we don't like them. If the majority wants to do things differently than you or yours do, accept it with good cheer. When we are in the majority let's always honor the other person's point of view and allow him to do things his own way as much as possible.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Children need to learn boundaries. They must learn the rules of our society. Teach them these things with love. Permissiveness is not love. And assertiveness is not anger. Model love for them, and they will see the value in not being fearful or angry. Remember, your child needs values, your time, and love; not things. Worthwhile values are imparted when you parent with love. The reward for this style of parenting is a happy and independent child with whom you will have a loving relationship for the rest of your life. Always, always, remember to treat your children with love.

Never accept anger from your child as appropriate behavior. Children learn to use anger when it is effective for them. They will keep using it as long as it works. Part of our job, as a parent is to not allow anger to be effective for our children. It is our job to show them a more effective way to deal with their problems. Whenever your child is angry, lovingly demonstrate to him or her that it is not appropriate behavior. Teach your child to find a more effective way of dealing with problems. As soon as your child is old enough to communicate verbally, teach them about expressing and dealing with their feelings.

Our children learn fear when we teach them that the world is a dangerous place, and that they must be fearful of dangerous things in order to protect themselves. Learn to teach them that this is a wonderful world in which good things happen when we are trusting and alert. Teach them to pay attention to provide for their well being, knowing that doing the best they can, will be enough.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the love you have for your children.

Tuesday: Recognize that you want your children to have a happy and enjoyable life.

Wednesday: Recognize that your children learn their lessons in life from you.

Thursday: Remember that if you model anger, your children will learn anger.

Friday: Recognize that if your child makes a mistake it is because he/she has not yet learned the lesson.

Saturday: Resolve to teach your children how to correct their mistakes in a loving way.

Sunday: Resolve to teach your children to love and trust the world.

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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