Dove with Branch
August 09, 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 wonder if part of Jan in Washington's issue with her friend who criticizes the car she drives is the fact that the criticism is constant. I too appreciate friends who are honest with me. But I don't appreciate it when that honesty turns into something close to nagging. I can understand why the constant criticism on the same subject given over and over again can be annoying, to say the least. Perhaps Jan just needs to address this with humor, such as telling her friend, "Thanks for the input. So what kind of car do you want to buy for me?" (with a big grin of course!) - Claire in NM

Dear Claire, Because of space limitations for newspaper columns I limit my answer to one or two issues. You do bring up an equally important point that in that we need to learn to be assertive and speak our mind without being negative. This is often easier to do than not being upset in the first place. - the Dean

Dear Dean, People are using more and more informality in business. Business owners and managers have earned the respect that goes with their position. They should be paid the respect they are due. Even the mail boy thinks its okay to call the boss by his first name. I even get letters and e-mails saying "hi" to me and I am often addressed only by my first name. I think a boss deserves more respect. - Franklin West in IL

Dear Franklin West, If it is your company, you can probably have it any way you want it. However, the person who calls you by your first name may feel that he is respecting you by considering you his equal and his friend when using your first name. He wants friendship - you want respect. You are the boss; decide how you want it in your company. When you are doing that, think about what will be the most productive and friendliest working conditions for your employees. You may want to reconsider the idea that people owe you something just because of your position. - 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 tend to look with great favor and warmness on philanthropists who give to help causes that provide for the poor and the public good. But let us take a second look at this. We are expecting those who have more to take care of the needs of those who have less. Shouldn't we as a society all be in this together to take care of our common needs? There seems to be something degrading and demeaning about a concept that is based on the inequality of the rich tending to the poor.

We should not depend on the rich to provide for our needs out of the goodness of their hearts. When we do, we become beholden to them. The needs of society should be met out of the common funds of all. We may need to increase taxes in order to meet the needs of the people, but the needs should be met.

We are supposedly a society based on equality. We would be better served by creating equality in income as much as possible. Then taxing according to our ability to pay in order to provide for our needs, rather than meeting them through charity. When the need is appropriate we all should support it. Personal charity should be given only when someone has a personal desire to do more than what we as society feel the need for. In the meantime, I am thankful that those who have more are willing to provide more for the special needs of society.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Challenge the shoulds, oughts, musts and have-tos in your life. If you feel that you have to do something that you really don't want to do, you are sure to get angry. If you think it is really the right thing to do, then just accept it and do it. If you think it might not be what you want to do, then think it through clearly, make a choice and accept your choice. If you are still troubled by this problem, or by your decision then realize that you have conflicting beliefs.

You would not feel stressed by your choice of how to deal with an event if you were totally in agreement with your own decision. Take feeling stressed as a signal that you have to look at your belief system in order to either eliminate some belief, or to align it somehow with your other existing beliefs. We have all been from time to time, the victim of our own conflicting belief system. Don't let this kind of event pass by any more. Do the work to align your beliefs. Until you do, you will continue to be stressed when similar events occur.

It is self-defeating not to like the action you have chosen. This is the time to remember that you, and only you, are in control of your life. Once you make a choice, work to make it the right choice. If you find that it is not the right choice, then change to a new and better choice. Feeling that we are trapped and must do what we don't want makes life difficult.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things you feel you must do even though you don't want to do them.

Tuesday: Choose a new way to respond or to accept your present response as the correct one.

Wednesday: Think about the things you feel you should do even though you don't want to do them.

Thursday: Choose a new way to respond or to accept you present response as the correct one.

Friday: Think about the things that you must do each day that upset you.

Saturday: Choose a new way to respond or to accept you present response as the correct one.

Sunday: Resolve that any time you feel stressed, to make a new choice that is perfectly right for you.

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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