Dove with Branch
December 13, 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 mother was controlling my life. She was even telling who should be my friends when I was forty-three years old. Finely I decided that it was time to make my own decisions. When I told my mother to please let me make my own choices she said I didn't know how to recognize who were just there to use me. I pointed out that she was right and that I was never going to learn until I did it for myself and that she wasn't always going to be there to choose for me. She understood and after a few troubling errors I am now doing pretty well. - Debra in CO

Dear Debra, Great work! You were assertive in a positive way and solved your problem without creating stress between you and your mother. Congratulations! - the Dean

Dear Dean, I attend a local college and there is a person at school who is always picking on me. He makes fun of the clothes I wear and the food I eat. He even makes fun of the way I talk. No matter what I do he makes fun of me. It upsets me so much that I want to quit school. I tell him how much it hurts, but that only encourages him to do more. How can I get him to stop? - Madison in VA

Dear Madison, He keeps picking on you because you allow yourself to be upset. He is someone who enjoys creating pain for others. When you understand this and accept yourself as being okay no matter what he says you will be able deflect his attacks without being upset. When you do the fun will be over for him and he will stop. What is even more important; you will learn to like yourself, and life will become better for you. It may seem hard to do but it works. - 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 almost all agree that we would like to create a more peaceful society than exists at present. We would prefer not to use war to achieve our goals. We have not figured out how to do that however, so we continue to go to war, both to protect ourselves and to achieve our interests. Let's set aside the more difficult question of war as a means of self-protection, and think about the use of war as a means of achieving what is in our own self-interest.

Sometimes it is difficult to tell which is which when we try to look to the future. If we ask ourselves the question, "will I lose my freedom if I do not act now?" and the answer is no, then it is too soon to go to war. We still have time to seek a peaceful resolution to our problem. If we make war truly a last resort in getting or maintaining our freedom we will prevent a lot of wars.

We have a bill before congress to create a Department of Peace. Not only will it save lives, it will also save huge amounts of money and increase our quality of life. We can learn to start using open negotiation instead of threats and intimidation to resolve our differences. All we have to give up is having it our way all the time. Let's support this legislation to create a Department of Peace with the assigned task of looking for peaceful solutions to both personal and national conflicts. Visit if you want to learn more about the Department of Peace legislation.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Any time we set up specific expectations, or requirements for what must happen, or what we expect others to do in order to have happiness in our lives, we set ourselves up for anger and frustration. We are all unique individuals, and other people are not trained to, nor do they expect to meet, our every need. They are much more concerned with their own needs than they are with ours. Don't expect others to have known, or done what you would have wanted them to. Don't get stuck in the "they should have .." trap.

Satisfying and positive relationships result from our mutual caring about and assisting each other, not from obligation. While others have no obligation to meet our needs, they often find they will benefit from doing so. When we help others we often get much more in return. Being of service to others will produce much happiness. It will also remove many of the potential anger-producing situations from our life.

Too often we end up manipulating others to do things our way without even realizing it. This creates anger because it's not what they want to do and they will therefore resist us. And this resistance will cause us both to be angry.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the things that I expect others to do for me.

Tuesday: I think about the things I expect of others that upset me when they do not do them.

Wednesday: I think about the things I expect from others that upset them.

Thursday: I think about how I respond when others do not meet my expectations.

Friday: Today I release the expectations I have for others.

Saturday: I do not ask others to do anything for me that I would not do for myself.

Sunday: I appreciate and rejoice in the things that others do for me because they want to.

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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