Dove with Branch
September 12, 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 son is unruly and frequently challenges my authority. I end up getting so upset at him that I scream at him and have even slapped him on a couple of occasions. I am ashamed of myself. How can I stop this behavior? - Charlotte in OH

Dear Charlotte, You and your son have both learned strategies of responding that are not effective, and are even self-defeating. It seems impossible to stop because they have become an automatic response pattern that just happens whenever you are "provoked." Just like when you buy a new car with different controls or get a new computer operating system you can learn a new response pattern. This is a serious problem. If you can't do it on your own or with the help of my book I suggest you seek counseling. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My sister and I have fought for years. We are very different and we find it hard to see the other's point of view. We are in our thirties and still don't talk to each other. I would like to put this behind us and become friends with her. Where do I start? - Silvia in VA

Dear Silvia, You can start by accepting her as perfect just the way she is. Learn to think that it is okay for you that she has different beliefs and goals in life than you do. The next thing is to tell her that you have come to understand and are truly sorry for the way you have acted toward her. Next find time to show her that you care by visiting and being friendly whenever the opportunity arises. Don't beg forgiveness or push for togetherness. It will happen when she sees that things have truly changed. - 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

One by one the dictatorships and monarchies of the world are slowly fading away. As the people become more educated and are able to make better decisions for themselves they are more able to provide for their own governance and less tolerant of others controlling the wealth and quality of life in their country. People are becoming more aware of how others live and are demanding that they be free to have those things in their life.

A recent example of this process is the Country of Nepal. They were able to adopt a new constitution and remove the monarchy and replace it with a representative form of government. What is so remarkable is that they accomplished this with a revolutionary movement that didn't result in armed conflict.

We are learning that we can create positive change more effectively through nonviolence than through war. Once this lesson sinks in to the people of the world we will find a way to replace the despots of the world with freely elected governments to carry out the will of the people. When we realize that we create a better life by living in peace than we do by wasting our resources on telling other people how they must live their lives, we will find a way to work together to create a meaningful and lasting peace in the world. We the people are evolving! With our evolution comes the understanding that we are all in this together. We now know that war does not bring peace. That war only brings more war is a lesson we have learned from history.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If we are going to have World Peace it is something we must create together. As long as we impose what we think is right, even if we truly believe that it is right for other people, we will not find peace.

Peace can only come from within the individual. Peace cannot be imposed on people. No matter how enlightened some concept or philosophy may seem if it is not embraced by most individuals it will not create peace. It is the nature of humans to resist the things they do not understand or accept. If a concept is not accepted by society then that concept will not survive peacefully because we humans will continue to resist what we do not accept of our own free will. Thus the great revolutions we see in our history.

However true this is, it remains the nature of mankind to seek peace. To humans, love feels good, and fear and anger feel bad. We grew up in a world where the strong have dominated the weak. In our early society, before we had laws, strength; either individually, or that of the community or nation was the way we survived. Tribes banded together for their survival. Other tribes who were more aggressive banded together to provide for themselves by taking from the weaker and less aggressive tribes. We now understand enough to achieve more positive social solutions.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the times you try to get other people to do things the way you think they should be done.

Tuesday: Think about the times other people try to get you to do things the way they think they should be done.

Wednesday: Think about what it would be like if other people accepted doing things the way you wanted them to.

Thursday: Think about what it could be like if you could just accept other people's ways of doing things.

Friday: Think about what it would be like if you were each free to choose your own way of doing things.

Saturday: Think what it would be like to negotiate differences with the object of freedom for each to do it their own way.

Sunday: Resolve to fully respect the differences of others in all relationships 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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