Dove with Branch
October 11, 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 would like to take a moment and respond to Sybil's letter from 8-30-2010. I too was a victim of abuse when a child, I suffered at the hands of my own brother. I understand how easy it is to get lost and caught up in the "I'm a victim and it's really messing up my life," way of thinking. For years I ran from it, I drank and lived without Christ in life, I was a total sinner. Your answer was 100% correct. Until you forgive you can't move forward. People get caught in the thought of "if I forgive that person will get off the hook." That's not the case. They still have to face God for what they have done. When you forgive you free yourself, are then forgiven by God for your own sins, and you are free to move forward in life. Forgiveness is the first step to starting a new life. I know it's not easy, but I've been there. I pray that Sybil will find the peace and comfort she needs, and the strength to forgive and let it go. - Angel in ?

Dear Angel, Thank you for your great comments! Being able to forgive creates personal freedom. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My grown son is living at home. He brings his friends home with him and they are often loud and late at night. I am not able to get my sleep. I think he should no longer be able to bring his friends but my husband says they should be able to stay until they become disruptive. I know they won't do that. I think it's about boundaries and he needs to respect ours. - Corinne in CA

Dear Corinne, I don't see it just as a question of boundaries. It is also a question about negotiating with your husband. He is suggesting an alternate rule that he feels would be more appropriate. You should discuss and consider his suggestion. It is not just about your wishes. It is also about what works best, and your husband's wishes as well. If you decide to stay with the rule think of it as standing in your truth. When we think of it as a boundary then we create resistance (anger) when anyone tries to violate it. Yes your son needs to respect your (and your husbands) wishes if he is going to continue under your roof. - 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

It is proper and fitting for us to have moral laws in our society. If we didn't do this, then we would be able to treat each other in any way we feel fit. For instance, if we felt it was justified to shoot someone who injured someone in our family in any way, and there was no law against it we would do it. In order to have peace in our society we must have common agreement on what is right and wrong. Moral law is our way of applying the Golden Rule.

A problem comes about when we decide what is right or wrong in our society must also be right or wrong in all societies. We have equal rights; now everyone must. We have democratic government; now everyone must. We do not allow age, gender or religious discrimination in the workplace; now everyone must. Perhaps these are good laws, but who is to decide that when others disagree?

There is a way that we can do that peacefully. We can create a world governing body that can decide those issues. We have a governing body now, the "United Nations." However, we do not allow it settle those issues because we are afraid we may disagree with the rules created. Until we come together as a world body and agree to resolve these issues - decide when we must agree and when we are allowed to disagree - we will never experience a peaceful world society.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

In dealing with others, the best rule is to start from a place of trust, realizing and accepting that you could be wrong. People tend to respond to you in the same way that you act. You will receive more trust if you offer trust. If you offer distrust, then that is what you usually get back.

If you want to be free of negative emotions, you will need to choose trust. It is well worth the risk of a few disappointments because the only way you are going to find many rewarding relationship is to give them a chance. In order to find rewarding relationships you have to offer trust and see how it works out. If you don't get trust back, well it was going to happen sooner or later, and you have done your best. This is just one of those things in life that we need to takes risks on if we are going to have a rewarding life.

But remember it is a calculated risk that, while you have some failures, is the only way to get the big rewards. One of my personal rules is that I would much rather trust someone and end up being wrong than to not trust them and be wrong. When we trust we create the possibility of something really good happening. When we don't trust we are shut down and even though we may prevent a possible grief - we have not created a possibility for something good to happen.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how the people you trust treat you.

Tuesday: Think about how the people you don't trust treat you.

Wednesday: Ask yourself if those you distrust might respond differently if you trusted them.

Thursday: Think about the opportunities you miss in life simply because you don't trust.

Friday: Realize that nothing good can happen unless you trust others.

Saturday: We willing to accept a few failures in order to achieve more and better relationships. .

Sunday: Resolve to offer trust so that you can receive trust.

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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