Dove with Branch
May 02, 2011 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 am a mature school teacher in California. My age is my business. When my students ask me my age I try to joke with them, but they keep pressing for an answer. How can I get them to stop asking? - Hannah in CA

Dear Hannah, Stop caring! Why should you want to hide your age? It is something to be proud about, not ashamed of. If you don't want to answer the question that is fine, but they have the right to ask the question, unless you tell them it is a question they may not ask in your class. The fact you are sensitive about your age is your problem; not theirs. Examine why you have this problem. If you are upset by such a simple request you have an issue it would be helpful to pay attention to. - the Dean

Dear Dean, People often insult me by saying I am so short the sun shining off the top of my head blinds them. I am sensitive to my height or lack thereof, and to my bald spot. I do not like being reminded about either. How should I respond so that people will stop teasing me about it? - Randall in MN

Dear Randall, Accept their comments with a smile. It would be good to laugh with them if you can learn to laugh at yourself. The fact you are shorter than other people should be no reason to depreciate yourself and many men get bald, even me. We can't enjoy life in this world until we learn to accept things as they are. Neither shortness nor baldness are real qualities of personal worth. Give up the idea that they are. What other people think of you is their business and not yours. Give up the idea that you obtain your value from what they think of you. - 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 seems that when we perceive that our government is doing something wrong we start a resistance movement to stop it. Probably the most notable at this time is the war in Afghanistan. We hold rallies frequently to create pressure to bring the troops home. We don't like what is going on and we want it to stop so we "fight" to end the war. Our solution when we don't like what is going on is just to put up resistance until change is made.

The problem with resistance is that it works to stop the harmful conduct without offering a positive solution to the problem. If we want to have peace and stop wars not only must we stop wars, we must also discover a way to live in peace. If we focus on creating peace, then not only can we find a way for the war to end, but we can also create conditions so that future wars are unnecessary. We must change the thinking that causes us to use war as a way to resolve conflict, before we will stop using war as a way to have our way in the world.

When Mother Teresa was asked to march against war she refused saying, "call me when you are marching for peace." We admire her thinking and her way of being. Let's recognize the value of her thinking. We will quit using war as a tool to settle disputes when we recognize that there are better ways to settle our differences. Why squander our lives and our resources when there are better solutions available to us? Let's no longer use war as a tool of diplomacy to solve our problems. We can instead use some form of mediation to solve our problems and end up friends. Also we will still have our relationships and resources still in tact. We can and should make war only a tool of last resort for self-protection.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

The most common cause of old anger is unresolved issues from our family of origin (usually our parents). Not only are such angers the most common; they are also the strongest and often the most deeply buried. We bury these angers because we don't want to keep feeling the hurt, and because we need to be able to function in our family, and in the world.

We learn a particular belief system from our families, but as we become adults we change at least part of that system, so that some of our old beliefs no longer fit. The old beliefs no longer serve us well but we haven't released them. They lead to our making poor choices and feeling unnecessary stresses. The problem is that most of the time we don't realize that this is happening.

Once you find a problem in the present that is difficult to solve look for some old beliefs from the past that may be leading you to stress and ineffective decisions. Once you locate these beliefs and their source you can then replace then with new more effective beliefs that are in harmony with your present belief system.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about all of the lessons I have learned from my mother.

Tuesday: I decide which lessons I learned from my mother I would like to keep in my life. I appreciate them.

Wednesday: I decide which beliefs I learned from my mother I want to release and create a new belief to take its place.

Thursday: Today I think about the lessons I have learned from my father.

Friday: I decide which lessons I learned from my father I would like to keep in my life. I appreciate them.

Saturday: I decide which beliefs I learned from my father I want to release and create a new belief to take its place.

Sunday: Today I rejoice in the new beliefs I have chosen for my 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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