Dove with Branch
October 24, 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 husband and I are educators who have allowed our children to make their own career choices. Two of our children have followed us into education and seem quite happy with it. One was a doctor and her life was quite stressful. She is now a nurse and is happy with her work. One is a bus driver and the other is a barber. They do not have quite as many material things, but they and their families seem happy. All of our children thank us for allowing them to make their own career choices except for the doctor. I think the lesson is that we need to let them make their own choices even if they seem wrong to us. - Brenda in CA

Dear Brenda, Thanks for sharing this experience with us. Our children will not always be happy with their choices, but we should support them. Also it is best to accept change regardless of how we feel about it. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have found a job that is perfect for me in every way except that it involves a long commute which I do not enjoy what do you suggest? - Hubert in MD

Dear Hubert, If you can't move work closer to you in some way, or find a better way to get to work, then I suggest you choose to enjoy the commute. Perhaps you can use the time to listen to music or self-improvement CDs, or find a way to solve some of the worlds, or your own, problems. The point is if we choose to commute then it is important to find a way to enjoy it. - 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 use war only in self-defense and even then only as a tool of last resort we will have much less war in the world. If we use war as a tool of last resort we will only have war when we have a failure of imagination. As long as we are able to think of other possible solutions war will not become necessary.

When we examine the wars we have participated in we have discovered after the fact that many of them were not necessary: because peaceful solutions were possible and that many wars didn't produce the desired results anyway. We have often found that the price for war was too high, even when we were the victor. This being the case we would be well advised to seek a less drastic resolution of our differences. Fortunately we are reaching a place in the evolution of our consciousness and our thinking that we are capable of developing far more effective resolutions to our conflicts with other nations and other societies.

The price of war in human casualties and resources has become too high for us to bear! The ability for us to understand and resolve our differences has risen to the level that we are capable of resolving our differences. All that is left to do is for each nation to give up the need to impose their ways and ideas on other nations. We will be able to do this when society and the individuals in the society give up the idea of imposing our will on others. We must be willing to be equal parts of a unified whole with each having the freedom to being their own person, neighborhood, city, state and nation.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Perception and recognition is the way we have of evaluating the information than comes to us through our five senses and includes the specific way that we interpret that information. Each of us sees life from our own frame of reference. Our differing perceptions are often the source of conflict and anger. If we understand and choose to accept our differences however, our dissimilar perceptions can become a source of wisdom, joy, and humor in our lives.

We tend to perceive information that supports the beliefs we have. First we take note of the information presented to us that validates our belief systems, and we often fail to notice things that do not. Next, we interpret the information that we receive in a way that is consistent with our existing belief system.

What if this wasn't necessarily the case? What if we considered the information in the light of differing belief systems? And what if we always looked at things from a number of points of view before making a decision?

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I appreciate the diversity in humankind.

Tuesday: Today I say only good things.

Wednesday: Today I say "I love you."

Thursday: Today I take time to breathe deeply.

Friday: Today I practice forgiveness.

Saturday: Today I am forgiveness in action.

Sunday: Today I take myself lightly.

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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