Dove with Branch
October 17, 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 concerned that the political objectives of some governments have overshadowed the basic message of humanity, that we are all connected and that we are in this life together. When we say that we will not buy the products of other countries because it will not protect our workers we are forgetting our connection to all humanity. Not only do we not let them into our exclusive "club" by refusing to buy their products, but we have been known to take their natural resources by "hook or crook" just to fill our selfish needs. - Henry in IL

Dear Henry, You are right! By holding our view of our self and our nation as being above others in the world we are bound by greed and conflict to a life that will not be lived in love and caring. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I work in the secretarial pool in our company. I will type a perfect document for someone and then they will make changes and bring it back to do over again at five minutes before the end of the day. They will then ask me to stay late to finish for them. I must work late or experience their anger. What do you suggest? - Loretta in TX

Dear Loretta, You get to choose how you handle this request. There are many considerations to take into account. Think about their needs and options as well as your own and find an answer that works for you. It might range anywhere from doing what they need done because it is reasonable under the circumstances to leaving it unfinished when the clock says it is time to go. Discussing the situation with them or a supervisor may be options to consider. If finishing the work before quitting is part of your job description, then accept the task graciously! - 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

As we grow we are taught certain ideas of how the world is - by our society, and by those around us - our parents, our teachers, and our friends. We take all of this in and form our own idea of how the world is. We then form expectations of how things should happen in order to fit with our own special idea of how the world is. When things don't happen that way; when reality doesn't match our idea of what the world is or what we think it should be; we get fearful or angry.

We need to realize that our idea of how the "world is," is only our ideal world, as we see it, not the real world at all. If what is happening in the world doesn't conform to your idea of what should be happening, then take it as a clue that your ideal world does not actually match the real world. If you could accept the idea that what is happening in the real world is appropriate for the present state of the world, then you would have nothing to be angry about.

To change the world we start by accepting it as it is. It is a little bit like buying an old house and then fixing it up to make it our dream home. We start by accepting it for what it is now. We then go to work making it what we want it to be, and keep at it until the change is complete.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about something that a neighbor or associate does that upsets you and ask yourself why you are upset.

Tuesday: Think about this problem in relation to the bigger issue of living together in peace.

Wednesday: Think about the problem from your neighbor or associate's point of view.

Thursday: Consider possible positive solutions to the problem.

Friday: Look for a way to solve this problem to both you and your neighbor or associate's satisfaction.

Saturday: Choose the solution that you think will be the most effective.

Sunday: Implement the solution you have chosen.

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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