Dove with Branch
October 10, 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 was still telling me what I should wear and even picked it out for me until I was thirty-six years old. She said she did it because I didn't know how. I finally decided I need to be free of her control. I told her that she was right and that I was never going to learn until I did it for myself. She understood and after a few glowing errors I am now doing pretty well. - Gerald in MO

Dear Gerald, Great work! You were assertive in a positive way and solved the problem without creating stress between the two of you. Congratulations! - the Dean

Dear Dean, We have a bully in our neighborhood that is always making fun of me. He makes fun of the clothes I wear and the games I play. He even makes fun of the way I talk. No matter what I do he makes fun of me. It upsets me so much that I don't even want to go out and play. I tell him how much it hurts, but that only encourages him to do more. How can I get him to stop? - Sherman in WA

Dear Sherman, He keeps picking on you because you allow yourself to be upset. He is someone who enjoys creating pain for others. When you understand this and accept yourself as being okay no matter what he says you will be able deflect his attacks without being upset. When you do the fun will be over for him and he will stop. What is even more important, you will learn to like yourself, and life. - 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 natural to want things to be our way. It is also natural for other people to disagree with us when they want things to be a different way. That is just the way the world works. How we respond to this is a matter of choice on our part. Many of us have learned to respond to disagreement by others as a threat to our achieving what we want - in some case even a threat to our very existence. We see a "dog eats dog" world and we have to fight for our survival. As long as we look at the world that way life will always be a struggle and war will always exist.

We don't need to give up acting in our own self-interest to find a better solution to this dilemma. All we need to do is realize that it is in our own best interest to find a peaceful resolution to the conflicts arising in our life and then act in such a way that the other party(s) involved will be able to come to the same realization.

Nonviolent conflict resolution is something we started formally when we created the legal system. Our legal system has served us well in solving our differences within our own community. If we expand our idea of our own community to include the whole world we can develop a system of conflict resolution that will allow us to resolve our differences in a positive and non-threatening way. Once we do this, winning through force will no longer be the most effective conflict resolution tool - and we will be able to resolve our differences peacefully.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Never think that you have the right to decide for your partner what is right or what they should do. This means you are attempting to assume a position of power over them. If you assume that power, your relationship is no longer an equal one. Also the other person usually will not willingly accept your control. They are likely to become angry and unhappy with the relationship in some way.

Intimacy with your mate requires that you respect and appreciate them for the person that they are. If you do, it will be easier to deepen your friendship and love. If you don't respect your partner, focus on learning to respect them, because it is essential to the relationship.

Focus your attention on the things that make your mate special and that attracted you to them initially. Always, always appreciate that. Often, and with enthusiasm, tell your mate how much you love and appreciate them. Doing this can prevent and dissolve a lot of anger.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things in your relationship that you and your spouse disagree about.

Tuesday: Think about the things that your spouse does that upset you.

Wednesday: Think about the ways you try to control the relationship.

Thursday: Think about the ways your spouse tries to control the relationship.

Friday: Accept your spouse's right to act differently than you would like her to do.

Saturday: Accept your spouse's right to disagree with you.

Sunday: Discuss your differences with your spouse.

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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