Dove with Branch
January 09, 2012 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 brother is a very successful person in the business world. He is working on a special project in India. He does call home occasionally but never comes to visit. Mom is very sick and will be dieing soon. My brother says he is very busy and can't come now. Mom says she understands but would really like to see all her children before she dies. What can I do to get my brother to come now? - Corinne in CO

Dear Corinne, You can ask him and tell him how you feel. If he doesn't come don't hold it against him. Your Mom has accepted it and you should too unless you want to lose a brother. Your brother isn't perfect, even in his own eyes. He has had to make some difficult life choices that only he can understand. Be willing to accept his choices. You seem to care about family. Don't double your losses just because you can't forgive your brother. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I am engaged to be married. My fiancée and I love each other very much but I am upset that he wants to spend some weekends with his friends instead of me. He wants to go fishing with his friends. He invites me but I am not interested. I have tried to get him to do something that I enjoy but he is not willing to give up his friends. I want to find a way we can do things together, what do you suggest? I am engaged to be married. My fiancée and I love each other very much but I am upset that he wants to spend some weekends with his friends instead of me. He wants to go fishing with his friends. He invites me but I am not interested. I have tried to get him to do something that I enjoy but he is not willing to give up his friends. I want to find a way we can do things together, what do you suggest? - Sable in WA

Dear Sable, I suggest you resolve this issue before you marry since you consider it an important one. A happy marriage requires agreement on important issues. If you do not have the ability to resolve important differences before marriage, you most likely will not have that ability during marriage. I suggest that you don't marry until you have the ability to resolve your issues. - 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 have a right to free speech. This is an essential right that should not be controlled or tempered by our government except in matters of physical safety to others. In a free society we must be free to express our opinions about anything and everything. Even if the hearer doesn't accept the message as appropriate or desirable we still have the right to state our beliefs.

We are however a member of our society and we have a personal stake in how it functions. This creates a secondary obligation that we concern ourselves with the effect our message will have on the listener as well as society as a whole.

If we are to live with our neighbors in peace and harmony we should consider presenting our message in a way that promotes that. If we care about creating a positive change we should present our message in such a way that it will most likely be considered in a positive way by the listener. All too often we present our message with so much anger and negativity that it is resisted by the listener just because of the way it is presented.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

When entering into a marital or partnering relationship consider the idea of the partners thinking of the relationship as a separate party. When you do this, you are able to look at the relationship in a more detached and objective way. The relationship takes on a life of its own. The two of you are working together to create a separate entity which is the relationship itself.

You can look at what each of you want the relationship to be and what each of you is able to bring to the relationship. This allows you to be able to discuss the health of the relationship without taking it so personally. You have now created a model of what you want the relationship to be in some detail. And you have a method you can use once you enter into the relationship for examining the stresses without criticizing the other partner.

During the relationship you will be able to quickly identify when any of the initial goals or contributions by either party have changed; and what work needs to be done to make it well. Also, you are more able to focus on the issues without personal incrimination and to negotiate change where needed. It is easier to focus on creating what you want. When something goes wrong you can more easily focus on what is wrong and how to fix it because you have already agreed about how you want it to be.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about your vision of your relationship with your partner, or prospective partner.

Tuesday: Think about your partner's vision of the relationship.

Wednesday: Work with your partner to create a common vision of the relationship that is acceptable to both of you.

Thursday: Think about the things you need to do to realize that vision.

Friday: Think about the things you believe your partner should do to support the partnership.

Saturday: Discuss a plan for each of you to reach the goals of the partnership.

Sunday: Rejoice in the enjoyment of a common vision and a united experience.

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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