Dove with Branch
May 30, 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 working mom. I enjoy my work and I enjoy my family. My husband and I agreed to this. My problem is that he refuses to help with the housework. As a result I have much less time with the children and he just uses his time to watch sports on TV. This wouldn't be so bad but the kids aren't interested in sports. I have talked to him but he refuses saying it is "women's work." How can I get him to help with the housework? - Elizabeth in AZ

Dear Elizabeth, Obviously you and your husband have a different view of the relationship. Have your explained to him why you need help with the housework? If you have and he still doesn't care, then you have an even larger problem. You need to find a way to balance the load in your relationship; accept that you are the heavy load bearer; or find some other way to resolve this problem. If you are skilled in this you should be able to save the relationship and the family both. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My wife will not clean up the house, even when I ask her to clean it up. I am embarrassed to bring clients and associates home from work and it is important if I am going to be successful. What do you suggest? - Mason in VA

Dear Mason, You have many choices. You can get your wife to see value for the family in doing the cleaning. You can do it yourself. You can hire it done. You can take your clients elsewhere. You can choose different work. You can choose a different wife (perhaps a poor choice) or you can just be okay with it and make do. The choice is up to you and your skill in negotiating with your wife. Good luck! - 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 a part of our nature to be violent. It is also a part of our nature to be angry, fearful, controlling, cheating, greedy, and all those things we associate with the unpleasant world that many of us see ourselves as living in. On the other hand it is also a part of our nature to be loving, caring, peaceful, sharing and joyful. We humans have the free will to be whichever of these things we choose to be at any given moment. In any given instance we always choose whichever of these things that our beliefs tell us we should choose. We choose what we do because we learn and believe that it is what we should do. We get angry simply because we should get angry in a certain situation. If we had learned to look at this same event or circumstances differently, we would have responded differently.

What if instead of judging each event by how we believe it should be, we change to judging it by the results it produces? If we look at things this way, then when things don't turn out the way we want we are not left with a feeling of being violated! Instead we would spend our energy looking for a new way to respond to the event that is in line with our greater goal of living peacefully and in harmony with others.

This is something that will not happen overnight, but can be and must be learned if we are to live in a peaceful world. The system of trying to make us all think and act the same has been tried and failed. This new way of thinking is the hope we have of making life joyful for all.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to perceive information that supports the beliefs that we have. First of all, we take note of the information presented to us that validates our beliefs, and often fail to notice things that do not. Next, we interpret the information we receive in a way that is consistent with our existing beliefs, and often fail to notice things that do not. For example, we always interpret a close call in a sporting event in the light most favorable to our team.

What if this wasn't necessarily the case? What if we considered information in light of other people's beliefs? And what if we always looked at things from other points of view before making a decision? In order to win at trial, lawyers are trained to carefully examine the other point of view. If they do not, they will not be prepared to respond with the best argument for their case.

Likewise you can learn to examine the information you receive from the point of view of all possibilities. This allows you to choose responses that are more effective and are more in tune with the way the world works. The more effective your responses are, the happier your life will be.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I notice how I always agree with my own thinking.

Tuesday: I think about the possibility that other's beliefs are as valid as my own.

Wednesday: Any time I take notice of something I try to see if there are other possible ways of thinking about it.

Thursday: I ask myself how others think about the things that concern me.

Friday: I examine other points of view to understand why others reach a different conclusion.

Saturday: I accept the beliefs of others as valid for them.

Sunday: I create harmony between my beliefs and the beliefs of others.

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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