Dove with Branch
September 27, 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 friends are all going to Europe to study and tour and visit several countries this summer. My parents pay more attention and provide more for my brother than they do for me. I am a junior in High School but I don't even want to live at home anymore. How can I get them to treat me fairly? - Wendy in MA

Dear Wendy, It doesn't sound like a good reason to leave home. It does sound like a good reason to have a discussion with them. Without being angry or upset find out why they don't want to allow or support your trip to Europe. Explain pleasantly why you think it would be valuable for you to go. Respect their answer until you are an adult and are ready to do it on your own. Your parents are your teachers and guardians for now. They are responsible for your care and education. You should respect their choices. Very soon you will be making your own decisions. Try to learn and understand why they make the decisions they do. As harsh as it seems, you are not entitled to fairness as a matter of right. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My friends at school are able to wear the latest fashions. My parents will not let me wear them because they say that they are too expensive and not important. If don't wear them I won't be accepted by my friends. How can I get my parents to buy me the latest fashions? They are important to me. - Grace in TX

Dear Grace, Tell your parents why you want the new clothes and what it feels like to you not having them - and then accept their answer. Your parents are teaching you a certain way of life that they believe is important. They may feel that things other than being popular are more important. Respect their wishes and learn from the lessons they are teaching. It will help you to make better decisions when you are on your own. - 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 see freedom as the right to do as we please without interference from others. We have the right to become more educated, choose our religious faith, and our form of government. We also have the right to know what is right and to fight for our causes. The problem with this concept of freedom is that it does not take into consideration the freedom of others. If they do not agree with our "right causes," then we think they are wrong and must be corrected or submit to our will.

We need to expand our idea of freedom to include the right of freedom for other people. They have the same right to have causes and beliefs that are different than our own just as we differ from them. We need to consider the right of other people to be free as important as our own right to be free!

Once we see freedom as something we create together we see the necessity of understanding the other person's point of view instead of treating it as wrong. We don't consider others just to be fair. We do so in our own self interest. When we realize our freedom depends on our ability to understand the thinking of others we will pay more attention to and be more accepting of what you say and do. To not accept the belief of others as appropriate can make life most difficult for us.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can change the world by changing our thoughts about it. When we learn to change our basic beliefs about things, we have the capacity to look at life - and everything else that happens to us - differently. This process is referred to as changing our belief system. When we do this, we even change the system of cause and effect. How does this work? Once we've changed our view of the world, things will not work the same for us as they did before. The same events that we were experiencing in the past will now inspire different responses than they did before - and thus different results.

Our belief system is an extremely complex system that contains all of the things that we have learned in our whole life. These are all the beliefs that we have been taught and accept as being true. Our beliefs determine how we think the world works and embody the truths we hold to be self-evident and accept without question. In order to make meaning out of any new input to our mind we always compare this new information to our existing belief system.

If we want to change the way we feel, then we must change our beliefs. You'll be able to experience a wonderful new way of life if you can just alter your beliefs to encompass wonderful expectations of life. This is because what you believe will happen is what will happen. Almost always we find the world out there to be the world we expect it to be. So for the world to seem good to you, it is essential that you expect that it will be good.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I recognize I create my own personal view of the world just by the way I think about things.

Tuesday: I recognize that if I don't like what is happening and I am powerless to change it that I will remain unhappy unless I change how I feel about it.

Wednesday: I recognize that I can make my world better just by thinking it is better.

Thursday: I recognize that if I accept what is happening as just how the world works it is not necessary to remain unhappy.

Friday: I recognize my beliefs were created by the things I have learned from others.

Saturday: I resolve to examine any belief that results in my unhappiness. .

Sunday: I resolve to change any belief I hold that results in my unhappiness.

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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