Dove with Branch
April 23, 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 parents are always helping my sister. They never seem to be interested in my problems even though she has many and I have few. They always go to her children's birthday parties but frequently don't make it to my children's birthday parties. Why should I be treated as if I was a lesser person than my sister? - Karen in NE

Dear Karen, The right to receive as much support from your parents as your sister does is only in your own mind. Perhaps your parents feel you can make it on of Peaceyour own, but that your sister can't. They feel a different obligation than the one you think they should have. They have given you the gift of making you a responsible person. You have already received more from them than your brother ever will. Be thankful they have provided well for you. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I have an associate at work that is always trying to take credit for my work. We work on projects together then she presents them as her ideas. What can I do to protect myself from her taking all the credit and getting the recognition and promotions? - Porter in CA

Dear Porter, Do your work as well, and as cheerfully as you can. Your associate is playing a dangerous game. Most likely she will pay the price one day. However it is not your job to see that she does. Do your best always. Most likely your supervisor knows what is going on, and the more gracious you are the better the result will be for you. Success includes much more than money and position. Stay free of her game, and trust that being positive is the only way to be successful. - 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 developed a habit of thinking of people who have different concepts and ideas about how to solve our social problems as wrong, and we spend our time telling them how stupid they are - and how smart we are. We think we are right and they are wrong. They would be wrong if they were required to look at the world the same way we do - but they are not.

In a democracy we get to keep our beliefs - but we vote on which particular solutions we use to govern our society. This concept requires that we accept the will of the majority and protect the rights of the minority - sometimes a difficult thing to do. If we want our society to be peaceful and productive we must accept our rules without resistance. If they don't work out the way that is good for society as a whole we will get a chance to change them.

When we feel the existing rules are not working we would benefit far more by looking for new positive solutions that others will see value in - and promoting those ideas - than we would just trying to tear down the existing ways because we don't like them. If the majority wants to do things differently than you or yours do, accept it with good cheer. When we are in the majority let's always honor the other person's point of view and allow him to do things his own way as much as possible.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Accept yourself as you are right now and as someone who is able to make any change that you truly desire; once you have decided to make the change.

Whether you like the results or not, you are doing the best you can right now. Recognize that. Accept yourself fully for what you are now. You may want to change to something different, but for now this is where you are. Wanting to be different doesn't mean you are not okay for now - it's just where you are at the moment.

Challenge the "shoulds" and "must do's" in your life by believing that in the greater scheme of things, this event is not all that important and I can either decide that I am going to do it because I want to; or I am not going to do it at all. If you feel you must do something because you are obligated but don't really want to, take the time to examine your belief system for conflicting beliefs. Try to bring these beliefs into agreement or assign priorities to them so that you will be able to accept your own decisions. For example, you have a cousin who was in jail and you feel you should be nice to him because he is family, but you don't want to be with him because you don't approve of his behavior. This is an obvious conflict in your belief system that is causing some distress. Take the time to determine your priorities and resolve this conflict.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you are trying to be the best person you know how to be.

Tuesday: Accept yourself as a loving and caring person.

Wednesday: Think about the things you don't like to do but do because you think that you should.

Thursday: Think about the changes you would like to make to become the person you hope to be.

Friday: Recognize that you have the power to make any changes you desire in your life.

Saturday: Think about the beliefs you have that cause you to become upset and identify the reasons that cause you to be upset.

Sunday: Resolve that when you make choices that result in your being upset that you will examine them and choose a new response that is not upsetting to you.

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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