Dove with Branch
May 16, 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 have a friend who wears clothes that are just not appropriate. He will go to nice parties without a tie on and shirts that are too colorful for instance. Society has certain standards. He needs to know that others will judge him by what he is wearing. When I tell him he gets upset and tells me that it is none of my business. His clothes are affecting his career. How can a get him to pay attention? - Andrew in CA

Dear Andrew, You have tried, and most likely succeeded. What you have not been able to do is have him change his behavior. He knows what you have told him. He just hasn't chosen to take your advice. We get to choose the things we want out of life. He has chosen to "pay the price" for wearing the clothes he does. To him the price of being depreciated in the opinions of others is not too high. Some will appreciate his choices. We all do things that others wouldn't because it is worth it to us. When someone no longer wants our opinion it is the time to stop giving it. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have a friend who is always telling me what makeup to wear, and what not to wear. I like the natural look and prefer to wear little or no makeup. I keep telling her that it is none of her business and to please stop giving me advice on my makeup. This doesn't seem to stop her. She keeps telling me what she thinks of my make up on an almost daily basis. How do I get her to stop telling me about how I look? - Elizabeth in IL

Dear Elizabeth, You are right! It is none of her business what you wear. It is your face, your life, you get to choose. However it is her business and not yours whether she continues to talk about it or not. When she continues to talk about your makeup it then becomes your business to decide how you wish to respond to her continued talking. This is a free society. She is free to say what she thinks! Consider that when making a choice of whether to remain friends or not. The more we accept others for who they are the more friends/love we have in our life. Not being upset by the opinions of others is a great skill to acquire. - 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 say we are a free society but what do we mean by that? When someone is curious about our age, for instance, do we give them the emotional freedom to ask; or are we upset by their question? I believe freedom should include giving people the right to be the way they want to be without emotionally attacking them or resisting them, just because you don't like what they are doing.

People who are raised in different cultures have different values. Since we are a multi-cultural society we have a lot of different and sometimes conflicting values in our common society. Instead of embracing and respecting those values that are different than our own, we often judge them. We sometimes go so far as to try to eliminate the way others do things just because we don't think they are appropriate.

If we are going to honor freedom then let's give up the idea of creating a "cookie cutter" society and embrace the differences. If you are uncomfortable with the values of others, consider honoring and accepting them instead of resisting and trying to change them. Freedom includes embracing the rights of others to be how they want to be. We have come a long way. Women have the right to vote. We all get to eat in the same restaurant. Let's give up the idea of trying to make others do something just because we think it is the way things should be done. We can only enjoy life when we allow all others the opportunity to enjoy life as well!

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

A constant source of problems is the conflict between the real world as it actually is and our concept of what we think the real world should be that we carry around in our head. I call this my real world file to remind me that it only represents my idea of what the world should be.

Regardless of how we want the world to be, and how we see it to be, the world is what the world is. The world works the way that it does regardless of our opinion of it. We may see it working in a certain way or desire that it works in a certain way, but this only changes our perception. Our perceptions and desires do nothing to actually change the world.

We may be able to make some changes in the world through our actions, or by changing the thinking of others, but that is the only way we can actually affect how the world is. Our thinking itself does nothing to change the world.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about how I would like things in the world to be.

Tuesday: I think about how things in the world actually are.

Wednesday: I accept that it is okay for the world to be the way that it is.

Thursday: I decide what thing in the world that I may help change in some way.

Friday: I decide what new idea would be better for the world.

Saturday: I develop my concept of how I can get the world to pay attention to my idea.

Sunday: I dedicate myself to making a positive change in the world.

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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