Dove with Branch
August 15, 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, My mother recently passed away a month ago. I am having a difficult time getting over the loss. My sister doesn't seem to be affected by it. She continues to attend social events and seems to be enjoying life much as before. How can she do this? Should I speak to her about her behavior and how disrespectful she is to mother? - Allie in MN

Dear Allie, Your sister might be able to give you some helpful tips for getting over the loss of your mother. We all grieve in our own way and our own time. The sooner we are able to Let go and get on with our life the better our life will be. When we have a loss if we want to have a happy life the object is to get over it as soon as possible. There is no required or expected way to grieve. You are entitled to grieve as long as you want but you should not be asking or expecting others to grieve in the same way you do. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My mother has never approved of my husband. She thinks he is not good enough for me or to me. I knew this when I married him. He is good to me! I love him and love being with him. He drinks but only socially. My mother refuses to even speak to him because of this. She won't even let him come to her home but invites only me and the children. How can I get my mother to accept him? - Colleen in CA

Dear Colleen, Your mother is entitled to choose whether she accepts your husband or not. It would be helpful if you could accept that. Let your mother know you are firm in your choice and that you love them both and ask her if she could try to respect your choice. That is about the best you can do. If you feel the need, ask her if she would keep her opinions to her self. Prepare to love them both and not let yourself be disturbed by your mother's honest feelings. - 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

If we kill someone we are guilty of murder. If we kill ten people we are a serial killer. If we kill thirty-three people we are guilty of a horrendous crime. The leaders of the world all recognize this and still when it comes to the greatest crime of all - waging war on another country - they praise it as a necessary tool to achieve our objectives. They even do it just to create democracy in another country.

They do not seem to recognize it as wrong, for they promote it as in the best interests of our own country. When our rulers see a perceived wrong (according to our interests or viewpoint) they are willing to use war as a tool to achieve their objectives. Those who recognize a small crime as such but do not recognize the wickedness of the greatest crime of all - the waging of war on another country - and instead praise it - cannot recognize the difference between right and wrong.

Perhaps we still need to recognize the right of self-defense, but that does not include the right to use war to achieve our political aims. It is time we give up the need to have it our way and accept the role of the world court and world government as a means of settling our differences with other nations, just as the individual states in our nation look to the federal government. This system has worked well for us. It could work for the whole world.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

It is good to be attached to our positive goals. This attachment is part of the power that helps us attain those goals. Such attachment, however, should be limited to continued focus on seeking your goal in a positive way. If your goal (or your pursuit of it) is no longer positive then shift it back to being positive. If you can't, then release it. Seeking a goal that is no longer positive - or seeking it in a manner that is no longer positive - produces negativity in our lives.

It is never good to be attached to our negative or hindering goals. As with our positive goals, our attachment creates the power to attain them. One of the skills we need to learn is to let go of those things that produce negativity in our lives.

Review your goals in all areas of your life and identify those that are upsetting you. Just like a smoker who would like to quit, we hang on to things that we think we just must have in our life, even though we know they are hurting us. Try to figure out why you are pursuing your negative goals so that you will gain new insight about your own motivation, and therefore be able to let go.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Review all goals in your life relating to the personal aspects of your self. Make a positive list and a negative list.

Tuesday: Review each item on the negative list and see why you still want to keep it.

Wednesday: Review all goals in your life relating to how you are with others. Make a positive list and a negative list.

Thursday: Review each item on the negative list and see why you still want to keep it.

Friday: Review all goals in your life relating to your work. Make a positive list and a negative list.

Saturday: Review each item on the negative list and see why you still want to keep it.

Sunday: Release all those negative goals you no longer desire to keep in your 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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