Dove with Branch
February, 27, 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 boyfriend is often inconsiderate of my feelings. He is often late but he gets upset when I am late. He will make fun of the way I dress and the way I wear my hair in front of others, and he knows I am uncomfortable with that. How can I make him change? - Nora in WA

Dear Nora, You can't; unless he wants to. You have to make it clear to him what things he does that are not good for you. If he is interested in learning to do things differently and wants to change then be patient and work with him. Have some patience with him if he is trying. Old habits are sometimes hard to break. You can always just accept his bad manners, but that comes at a high price to a loving relationship. If you don't totally accept the way he is it will be a constant source of stress that will make the relationship less than acceptable to you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have a boss who is demanding and abrasive and he has piled so much work on me that I am no longer able to carry on a civil conversation with him. - Paul in CA

Dear Paul, This is a complex question and you must look at many aspects to determine your answer. But let's look at some of the things you need to consider given what you have said. The fact that you can't talk to your boss is your problem not his. If you are going to keep this job you must learn how to stay in a positive relationship with your boss. It will be helpful if you can find ways to get him to change in ways that will make the relationship better for you, but don't count on it. Meeting his needs as best you can in a positive manner will usually go a long way. Not talking to him is not positive and usually adds to the problem by creating negative feelings and a lack of the information you need to do your work as well as dampening your enthusiasm to do it. Start by looking for the reasons you feel fearful or angry about the relationship. - 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

Let us stop for a moment and reflect on some of the more practical reasons for learning to live together in peace: We produce products from our limited resources at a considerable cost in time, labor and materials. The products we produce enhance our quality of life. The amount of time, labor and resources are all limited in supply. When we produce goods for war we are using some of our limited resources The need to use our resources to protect ourselves from others or to settle differences comes as a great price to our quality of life. We have tried to war while trying to carry on our normal way of life and find we have made a mess out of the economy.

Yet when we say we want to quit making weapons of war we hear complaints that it hurts the economy because people are losing jobs. If we reflect for a moment, we realize that if we weren't making war machines we could use our resources to increase our quality of life.

How much does it cost us to learn to love, trust and care for each other on this planet? Is it more than the cost of war? I don't think it is. I think we need to spend more effort on increasing our quality of life so that we won't have the need to defend ourselves from each other. The need for war is simply a state of mind. Let's change our state of mind!

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We feel upset when we don't deal with unfinished business from the past. As we continue to hold onto our anger, our unforgiving thoughts become the cause of our suffering, and we continue to hurt. The only remedy for this pain and resentment is forgiveness. We can be free of suffering by letting go of the past. Becoming a happy person is really not possible until you free yourself from your anger and forgive.

If you find yourself fearful that what has happened in the past will happen in the future, try taking the opposite attitude - that things will be better now that you have learned the lesson inspired by the negative experience. Which attitude is the most productive- holding onto anger and being miserable, or practicing forgiveness and learning from the experience? Why not consider the person who "wronged you" as a teacher? If you look upon them as a teacher of one of life's lessons, it will be much easier to forgive them. Be thankful for the lesson. View the situation from the perspective of how you dealt with it rather than what was done to you.

To decide not to forgive is to decide to suffer. By shifting your perspective and refusing to blame others, or to carry any resentment, you open yourself to a happier existence. Forgiveness is letting go of all hope that we can somehow fix the past. We have all been hurt by the actions of others. It is always easy to justify your anger, but even with the strongest of justifications, you will never be happy if you hold onto the anger. The anger will have won out, and you will have lost, no matter how strong your "case." It will help you to forgive if you take the position that, in your life, no anger is justified.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Realize that there is nothing in this world that requires you to be angry.

Tuesday: Think of the people in your family you have not forgiven for things that they have done.

Wednesday: Release all anger which you still hold against anyone in your family.

Thursday: Think about all of the people in your life you have not forgiven for things that they have done.

Friday: Release all anger which you still hold against anyone.

Saturday: Release all anger that you hold against any institution, government, group or situation in the world.

Sunday: Resolve to always release any anger whenever it is experienced.

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."

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