Dove with Branch
August 23, 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 work situation is very stressful, and I have a difficult commute. My family wants my attention as soon as I get home, but I am in need of some quiet time. My job is essential if they are going to have all the things that they want. How can I get them to respect my need for quiet time when I get home in the evening? - Chris in CO

Dear Chris,You explain your need to them in such a way that they will be able to understand and respect it. They will wait; if they understand why and it produces a happy father. I suggest before you do that you look at other aspects of this. Realize that the stress from your job is self-induced. For your own sake you would do well to change that. When you are stressed you model stress and upset for your children. Maybe you will find releasing the stress more helpful, and time with the family more valuable, than living a stressful life. - the Dean

Dear Dean, For Annie in NJ, you are correct that they need to learn how to resolve the difference, but I can understand the difficulty they are both facing in this situation. One possibility for Annie is to ask the in-laws to teach her about their background. Admit they are right and ask them to help her understand. Once they see she is willing to learn, they might begin to accept her. Her husband can offer his support by asking, with Annie, for his family to help her learn. - Claire in NM

Dear Claire, Thank you for suggesting offering a constructive solution to Annie. There are always constructive solutions available. Our success is life is created by our ability to recognize and use them - 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

Some people look at history to find out how things were so that we will not repeat them again. Some even think that because events happened before that they are bound to happen again. They think of our society as flawed, and condemned to keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

When I look at history I see growth and change. We see so many things that have changed. For example, the right to vote, equal rights, and democratic government. There has been great movement around the world in those directions, even in our lifetime. We are at a new place that never existed in our history. I do not see us going back to the way it was. We now have universal education, which I view as the great springboard for change. We will not march back toward ignorance. We will not burn the books!

What I envision, is that we will be dealing with new inequalities and issues tomorrow that today we accept as reasonable. We will grow to be less accepting of war, individual power, and personal greed, among other things. We will learn to find better solutions to our problems; and more effective methods for resolving our differences. Let's work together to create change rather than just resisting it simply because it is not the old way we have learned to do things. We would like to be in a "better place" than we are now. Only change will make that possible.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

All of the stuff that happens around us is just the game of life. Accept it as such. You are always free to start playing the game differently at any time. Choose to play the game in a way that feels good to you - and learn to quit paying so much attention to things that upset you. Our most natural state of mind is contentment and joy. Believe that every experience will be a positive experience in your life. It is at the very least a lesson that is helpful to learn. If we look at things in this positive way, we can benefit from everything that happens to us. Be grateful for each life lesson, and for every opportunity to learn.

Realize that the lesson is happening for a reason and that if it keeps happening to you that you probably haven't learned the point of the lesson yet.

Cut some of the drama out of your thinking, "I can't stand it." But you can and you do. It is just an exaggeration. When we dramatize, we just increase the stress in an otherwise already stressful situation. We benefit by just accepting things, without adding to the problem by making things worse in our mind. We can add a lot of negative emotion when we dramatize. Things we don't want to happen are going to happen. You will feel much better if you accept them as they are. Once you are fully able to convince yourself that you can stand whatever comes along, you will eliminate the horrors in your life. You will be left only with inconveniences, big and small.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you would like your life to be.

Tuesday: Think about what you would have to do to make your life the way you would like it to be.

Wednesday: Choose to find the good in everything that happens in your life.

Thursday: Resolve not to dramatize or exaggerate your experiences.

Friday: Resolve to learn from every experience in your life.

Saturday: Resolve that you can accept any experience in your life.

Sunday: Resolve that you can handle any experience in your life.

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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