Dove with Branch
April 02, 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 friend is always having problems in his life and I always try to help him. He thinks life never treats him fair. He frequently asks for help and I do even though I am getting tired of it. The problem is that no matter how hard I try he doesn't appreciate it. He asks for my advice, never follows it, and then he blames me when it doesn't work out. This upsets me. How can I get him to appreciate what I do for him? - Darrell in CO

Dear Darrell, You probably can't. You can however learn not to expect or require his appreciation. You can learn to look at your advice as given with love and without "strings of appreciation" attached. If this doesn't work for you, and you want to retain him as a friend, try telling him that you have no more advice to give, or that it is given only when appreciated. If you still feel a need to help, and to be appreciated, it might pay to find a different friend. Friendship should be based on love, and without stress. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have a friend who always must be right. If she makes a statement she will defend it as true no matter what, even when it is easy for everyone else to see that she is wrong. She refuses to change her mind even when it is obvious to everyone else that she is wrong. How can I get her to stop being that way? - Ruth in CA

Dear Ruth, Ask yourself do you want to be right, or do you want to be happy? As a friend you can let her know that she is doing this, and how other people react to it. But as a friend you can also just accept this and allow her to be wrong without argument when you know she won't listen. Just accepting her quirky little ways could make life more fun for you. - 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

I believe our president has the right idea when he talks directly to foreign leaders with which we are having serious disagreement. We often refuse to talk with foreign governments who we consider enemies or disagree with their policies. We have refused to talk with Iran for years. We did not talk with China and those behind the Iron Curtain for years. I believe this is a great mistake. If we are going to get along in this world, we need to find a way to reconcile our differences. This doesn't happen easily when we refuse to talk to each other.

When we started talking and trading with the Eastern Bloc and with China we started finding ways to live together. When we developed common interests we began to find the need and the ways to reconcile our differences. Modern technology has brought us closer to everyone. We have a greater need to get along than ever before.

Not to talk only signals that we have not found a solution, and have given up trying or that we our using it as a tactic have our way. Even if it looks hopeless we never want to quit trying to solve our differences. When we try to solve our differences by being the prevailing bully we quit talking. When we look for solutions that solve the problem for the benefit of all, we keep talking.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

A Rule To Make Choices By: For everything that happens in our life, there are three possibilities: (1) We can change it, (2) We can leave it, or (3) We can accept it. With each event in our life we need to make this choice.

For example, consider your work. You may not be happy with it just the way it is. Is there a way you might change it to make it better? If that is not possible, then your next choice might be to leave it. That may not be possible for the present, because you may need the work in order to eat, or pay the rent. You then can choose to accept your work, or you may choose to make a plan to change to new employment in the future. If you choose to make a change later, then you need to make the decision to accept your work for now. As with all of life's experiences, if we don't find a way to make our work experience a positive one, then we are left with negative emotions in our lives. To remove any anger or other negative emotions from your life, you need to apply this principle of change it, leave it, or accept it each time you need to make a choice. The important thing is to remember that if you can't change something and are not going to leave it that the only choice left for you is to accept it.

If you decide to go to work because you must have the money for food and shelter but you would prefer other work then make some effort to find or prepare yourself for other work. In the meantime you have chosen to go to work tomorrow, so go there with a happy face and enjoy it.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about something in your life that you are not happy about at the moment.

Tuesday: Think about why you are unhappy about it.

Wednesday: Think about how you can change it to make it better for you.

Thursday: Think about the possibility of no longer having this event or person in your life.

Friday: Think about something you have decided to do anyway that makes you unhappy.

Saturday: Think about how being unhappy about the things you have chosen to do upsets you.

Sunday: Resolve to always accept and be happy with the things you have chosen to do.

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 conduct workshops throughout the United States and Canada. These workshops 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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