Dove with Branch
September 19, 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 came from a large family that was close through several generations and lots of cousins. I am always there for my brothers and sisters, but they don't seem to care about me or my problems. They don't even invite me to their homes on holidays. How can I get them to help me when I need it? - Grace in CA

Dear Grace, Perhaps you can't. They have no obligation to help you just as you have no obligation to help them. If they still feel loving toward you they will most likely help. They may not want your help, at least in the way you offer it. They may feel helpless to help you. If they are not supporting you in the way they do each other then it would do well to find out why they are treating you differently. Ask them in a nice way! If you are giving them support but expecting something in return then you are not "giving" them support. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I often go to the park in the evenings. There is a couple that comes there and argues openly with each other, and they complain about everyone else in the neighborhood, their family and people at work. The problem I have is that they are loud and argumentative and end up calling each other names. I have asked them to please be quiet and others have spoken to them as well but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Do you have any suggestions? - Len in IL

Dear Len, Find another park? You do have other options. You could let them know nicely that you (and perhaps others) are upset and ask if they would speak more quietly. You might let them know that you (and perhaps others) will be leaving if it continues. You could even offer to drive them to another park. Check to see if they are violating any municipal or park rules and seek enforcement. You always have the option of choosing not to be disturbed by their behavior. - 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 refer to our legal system as an adversarial system. We call it an adversarial system because it is set up as a fight between two opposing parties. A trial is set up as a contest in which the best man wins. What we are seeking is the truth of the matter. A system where the most skilled combatant usually prevails is not the best path to the truth. Lawyers who always win do not win just because they choose clients who are always innocent.

In recent years we have introduced arbitration as a way of resolving legal disputes in business matters. When we use this method we are looking at the claims of both parties and trying to determine the solution that is most equitable for the particular situation. This encourages negotiation as this allows the parties to arrive at the same solution with less formalities, time, and cost.

Besides producing poorer results the adversarial system we now use produces more anger, and a waste of time and money for our society. It also makes the courts a tool that is used to resolve disputes just because of the power of money and advantage of delay. It is nice to provide work for lawyers, but society would be better served if we shifted from the adversarial system of justice to a method that puts more focus on the search for an appropriate resolution of the problems that must be resolved.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

As our society evolved we saw that great power was to be desired. However as we evolved intellectually we came to realize that those in power tended to look out for their own self-interests, rather than those of the group. As people became more aware they refused to accept power abusing leaders. As the people became strong enough they began to overthrow their abusive leadership, and replace it with leadership whose power is derived from the consent of the governed. That process is still going on today in many parts of the world. It is still being perfected and improved everywhere it exists, as the people grow more in awareness. Gradually those governments who want to take power over their own, or other people by force are finding it more difficult to do so.

This change to being governed only with our own informed consent comes gradually as our awareness as individuals increases. We must become aware enough to make choices, and elect only those who make decisions that are in our own enlightened self-interest. In order to have peace within our society we have to come more and more to realize that we ourselves must be peaceful. Only when we come from a place of peace will we be truly concerned about peace for other people.

Only when we change our personal way of being to peaceful and joyful living, will we be able to create peace and joy in the world. The world will always be acting in a way that is an out-picturing of the general level of consciousness of the people.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: When someone speaks to you notice how you feel about what they say.

Tuesday: Notice how you feel when someone disagrees with you.

Wednesday: Notice how you feel when a goal or desire is not realized.

Thursday: Think about what belief you have that makes you feel upset.

Friday: When your response is upsetting think about a way to feel about the same event that is not upsetting.

Saturday: Create a new belief that will allow you to feel positive about the upsetting event.

Sunday: Resolve to always find ways to create positive feelings about all of the events 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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