Dove with Branch
October 31, 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, Our son is just starting his senior year of college and plans to graduate this spring. He has worked as a plumber's apprentice during the last two summers. He has been offered and accepted a job as a plumber when he finishes college. He could take the job now but wants to finish his degree first. He loves the work but he thinks the degree will improve his life and it is worth the money and the effort. My husband is a doctor but neither of us have been disappointed that he did not follow his father. Being happy is more important than paycheck or status. - Rhodda in MO

Dear Rhodda, He has chosen to be a plumber but still wants to finish up the degree he has started. What a wise child! You are lucky to have him and lucky that you can appreciate him. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My brother is getting married in December. We have received an invitation to the wedding which states no small children are invited. I have two toddlers and I believe the family would enjoy getting to see them. I live several hours away and can't afford child care for that time. Shouldn't they be allowed to come to the wedding? - Corinne in NE

Dear Corinne, I am no wedding planner but the answer is; I think it depends on the bride and groom, mother, or whoever is planning the wedding. There is no right answer except that the wedding is generally the focus and whoever is putting on the event gets to decide. Can it be done in the best interest of everyone? No it can't! Perhaps there is someone in the family who would enjoy the children that don't want to attend the ceremony but would enjoy the children. - 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

Many of us live in a world of personal turmoil. We often fail to realize that inner peace and joy are equally available to each of us. Regardless of the circumstances in our life it is a personal decision whether we allow ourselves to be upset by what happens - or not. We will accept anything as appropriate if we personally believe that is the way life should be. And we will fear anything we believe is fearful.

We accepted the idea that communism was going to take over the world and that we must prevent it from advancing at every turn and at any cost. As a result of this fear we entered into war of rebellion against the government in Vietnam. Many lives were lost and even though we lost, the results turned out well. Things would have turned out even better had we not entered the war. Life is too dear to lose it over our irrational fears.

The next time we want to enter into a fight with someone I suggest that we look at the situation from their point of view, and try to determine what they want to accomplish instead of looking just at our fear of what could happen. The world is not naturally a "dog eat dog" world. We have made it that way unnecessarily because of our distrust and fears. Everyone may want something from someone else, but we have learned long ago that we can accomplish more by negotiating than fighting.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

In order to have World Peace we must first learn a way of living that allows us to always experience Personal Peace. Personal Peace comes from the way we view and respond to the world around us. Our own personal world and the way we feel about it is determined by the way we chose to respond rather than by what actually happens to us.

Whatever happens is simply what happens. How we choose to view it is determined by our own personal belief system, the way we look at things, and how we feel about all of the stuff that has happened to us in the past. How we feel, and how we respond to something always comes from our own personal choice that we make at the moment the event or thought occurs to us.

Most of us have learned to judge events as either good or bad and respond accordingly. This is the way our parents and the world have taught us how to deal with things. We are taught that we are supposed to feel bad, or angry, when certain things happen. Too often we make a judgment that things are bad and then respond from our negative emotions, instead of being able to calmly think about what happened before we choose how to respond. Emotional choices limit us to responses based on our past experiences and prevent us from using reasoning in choosing how we would like to respond.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think of the Love I receive from others.

Tuesday: Today I will listen with an open heart.

Wednesday: Today I will take time to be with my family.

Thursday: Today I take time to appreciate nature.

Friday: Today I act in kind and loving ways.

Saturday: Today I smile, have fun, and laugh.

Sunday: Today I help someone in need.

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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