Dove with Branch
July 25, 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 senior in high school. I want to study and travel in Europe before I start college next year but my parents say that they will not give me the money to go. They let my brother go to Hawaii two years ago when he graduated. How can I get them to be fair with me? I am a senior in high school. I want to study and travel in Europe before I start college next year but my parents say that they will not give me the money to go. They let my brother go to Hawaii two years ago when he graduated. How can I get them to be fair with me? - Brenda in CO

Dear Brenda, Without being angry or upset find out why they don't want to let you go to Europe for the summer. Explain pleasantly why you think it would be valuable for you to go. Respect their answer. Your parents are your teachers and guardians for now. They are responsible for your care and education. You should respect their choices. Very soon you will be making your own decisions. Try to learn and understand why they make the decisions they do. As harsh as it seems, you are not entitled to fairness. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My friends at school are able to wear the latest fashions. My parents will not let me wear them because they say that they are too revealing. If I don't wear the latest fashions I won't be accepted by my friends. How can I get my parents to buy the clothes I need? They are important to me. - Tiffany in TX

Dear Tiffany, Tell your parents why you want the new clothes and what it feels like to you not having them - and then accept their answer. Your parents are teaching you a certain way of life that they believe is important. Respect their wishes and learn from the lessons they are teaching. It will help you to make better decisions when you are on your own. - 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

As humans banded together; at first in small communities and then in ever larger social structures we developed rules about how we should live and function together. These are the rules that have become the laws and traditions which determine how our society functions. These structures were created at a time when we were concerned primarily with our safety, and when we had little trust that others would follow the rules voluntarily.

We developed solutions that did not look beyond the immediate problem we were trying to solve, and did not contemplate changes that would occur in the future. Conditions changed and needs changed but rules changed only a little. Our rules and laws are bound by traditions from the past that are difficult to change.

We would benefit from examining these structures in some detail to determine possible changes that will bring them into harmony with the objective of creating a harmonious framework for our society. Our objective is to create a framework that will make it possible for each of us on this planet to experience a peaceful and joyful life. In working to create peace we need to examine each of our society's operating systems to determine their goals and purpose. We need to discover the stresses and obstacles created by the way they presently function. We need to have a general understanding of the functioning and objectives of each of these areas. This will allow us to be able to create productive changes that will help to align these systems more closely with our need to function effectively and to be creative in a Peaceful World.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Learn to embrace change. Your life hasn't been perfect. You can make it better by letting go of old attachments so that you can pursue more desirable goals. When something doesn't work the way you want it to and you can't change it, concentrate on replacing it with something new. Think of what you want in its place. This focus on the new positive goal is helpful in letting go of the old negative attachment.

You may also find it helpful at this point to focus on the knowledge that you are now open to new opportunities. This is the time that you can choose something new in your life. You want your life to be better? Choose something that will make it so. You may even find that it is time to train for a new career, or make new friends.

Just know that all negative attachments can be released, if and when you are up to doing so. If you have difficulty letting go don't give up. It just is a signal that you have more to learn and need to pay more attention. Books, counselors and friends are available to help you find the answers. Happiness is always an available choice. Don't pass it by just because you don't know how to do it.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things in your life that upset you.

Tuesday: Think about how your life would feel if everything was they way you wanted it to be.

Wednesday: Select the most important change you want to make in your life.

Thursday: Think about how your life will be when you make this change.

Friday: Determine what you must learn in order to make this change.

Saturday: Today begin the steps necessary for change.

Sunday: Today dedicate yourself to enjoying the process of change.

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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