Dove with Branch
September 20, 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 provide for my children very well. They have all of the things their friends have. We always support them and attend their activities. Yet they lack appreciation for what we do. When they want something, they refuse to take no for an answer. They speak angrily and refuse to follow the rules. Why does this happen and how can we fix it? - Janice in MI

Dear Janice, You are your child's teacher. They have learned how they can and should act from the lessons that you have taught them. They act the way they do because that kind of behavior works for them. If you want them to be different you must teach them new lessons. It will be more difficult now because they must unlearn the old lessons. It is important for your children to learn to make choices that are in their own long term interest, rather than whatever works at the moment. They need to learn better strategies for dealing with life. And they need to learn them from you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I am a third grade teacher. I have problems with children who refuse to keep quiet in class. I send them to the office for some discipline. When they return to class, they often continue to be disruptive. What do you suggest? - Barbara in CA

Dear Barbara, You are the teacher. It is your job to get the students to realize that it is more beneficial to not be disruptive. This is best accomplished with positive lessons such as being considerate to friends, and the value of the lessons they are missing. Punishment is not the most effective way to achieve positive results. Look for consequences that are not viewed as punishment such as positive class activities as rewards. - 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

9/11 was a significant event in world history that we do not want to have repeated. How well are we doing so far? We have entered into a "war against terrorism" so that those events will not be repeated. It seems more like punishment to those who have carried out or advocated violence against our country. Apparently we believe that punishment is more important than prevention. Violence begets violence. We want to stop violence. I don't believe that punishment (or eradication) is the best solution for preventing further problems?

If we really want to stop violence from continuing, we must try to understand why people hated us so much they were willing to give their own lives to punish us. Within their belief system, they have enough reason to hate us that they are willing to sacrifice their own lives to punish us for who we are and what we "have done" to them. If we want to solve the problem without more violence from them we must give up violence ourselves. We must not condemn their beliefs just because of what they have done.

Respect their differences. Seek a way to live in a world where we accept and respect each others right to be, and to choose for ourselves. Let's tell them this is the way we feel and that we seek a way to resolve our differences without imposing our beliefs on them. Let's put the days of the crusades behind us and live together in an interesting new world.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Anything you consider important in a relationship should be discussed and agreed to ahead of time by both of you. When new things come up as your relationship progresses, they should be worked out mutually. You have no right to be upset just because your mate doesn't want to do things your way. Their ideas of what they expect and what they are willing to contribute are just as important as yours are. Expecting them to conform to your notion of how a partner should be, when they haven't agreed to those expectations, and becoming angry when they don't live up to them, is unfair and unreasonable.

It is especially important to pay attention to these issues at the present time because our society is transforming its idea of how we look at the partnering relationship. Traditionally we looked at the relationship as the male provider and the female nurturer. This concept is changing to a new concept of equality where the lines between these roles are no longer clear. If you are expecting the old traditional relationship you need to find a prospective partner who is seeking that kind of relationship as well.

Since the present forms of relationship are still emerging and far more complex in most cases you will need to consider each others expectations. Be open to reaching compromises on many smaller issues before deciding to enter into a long term relationship. Starting out with commitment and then finding out whether it works or not tends to consume much more emotional energy than most of us would like to expend.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about my picture of how a relationship should be.

Tuesday: Today I think about my partners or prospective partner's picture of how a relationship should be.

Wednesday: Today I think about the things that I believe are essential in a relationship.

Thursday: Today I think about the importance of explaining how our relationship should be to my partner.

Friday: Today I resolve to discuss and understand my prospective mate's point of view.

Saturday: Today I decide to resolve differences through negotiation and understanding. .

Sunday: Today I resolve to understand my prospective mate's expectations and to resolve any difference from my own before entering into a relationship.

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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