Dove with Branch
June 18, 2012 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peacemaker,

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, In regard to your advice about accept it change it or leave it I want to ask you what I can do about my work situation to make it okay. I need the work to feed my family and the situation at work is always very angry and tense. I come home each night upset and end up fighting with my family. How can I change this? - Glenda in WA

Dear Glenda, You always have the three choices, plus the fourth choice to suffer if you don't find a positive choice. You can leave, but it may take some advance planning and maybe some correspondence courses, or back to night school. You can reduce your financial needs. Perhaps the easiest solution is just to learn to not be upset by what is going on around you at work. In each situation we face we always make the choice to be upset - or not. If you don't like being upset you can simply choose not to be upset by changing you belief about how you should respond when the things that are upsetting you happen. - the Dean

Dear Dean, Thank you for your suggestion that I should find a way to accept all of the work conditions as long as I continue at my job. I have a commute of over one hour and I was upset at every delay and complained about it continually. I took your message to heart and began listening to self-improvement tapes and the lessons I have learned have enriched my life. I have learned that I am able to transform a negative situation into a positive one when I look for a way. - Jacob in MA

Dear Jacob, Congratulations! It is nice to see how this little lesson has been helpful for you. Perhaps you can carry this even further by writing a book about your experience. You could do much of this during your commute using a voice activated recorder. - 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

9/11 was a significant event in world history that we do not want to have repeated. How well are we doing so far? We have entered into a "war against terrorism" so that those events will not be repeated. It seems more like punishment to those who have carried out or advocated violence against our country. Apparently we believe that punishment is more important than prevention. Violence begets violence. We want to stop violence. I don't believe that punishment (or eradication) is the best solution for preventing further problems?

If we really want to stop violence from continuing, we must try to understand why people hated us so much they were willing to give their own lives to punish us. Within their belief system, they have enough reason to hate us that they are willing to sacrifice their own lives to punish us for who we are and what we "have done" to them. If we want to solve the problem without more violence from them we must give up violence ourselves. We must not condemn their beliefs just because of what they have done.

Respect their differences. Seek a way to live in a world where we accept and respect each others right to be, and to choose for ourselves. Let's tell them this is the way we feel and that we seek a way to resolve our differences without imposing our beliefs on them. Let's put the days of the crusades behind us and live together in an interesting new world.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Unfortunately, we often relate to each other as if we are to be constantly judged. We think it is important to decide who is wrong and who is right. We think we need to be right. And if we are wrong, then we think we should suffer and be punished somehow. If there is guilt, then we think there must be blame. We try to control someone else's behavior by placing blame upon them. Most of the time, we don't even realize that we are doing this. But if we are practicing guilt and blame, we see the other person as threatening us, so we attack them.

Because of their insecurities many people can be controlled by the power you create by placing blame. You may gain control, but do not expect a positive relationship to result unless you can actually find someone who enjoys other people having the power. Positive people do not place blame. They don't blame circumstances, they don't blame other people, and they don't blame themselves.

Blaming always leaves us with resentment and other negative feelings. Only by not placing blame can we be in control of our own fate. Unfortunately our legal system has adopted the concept of negligence, which is simply placing blame for mistakes. We buy into this concept of blaming others for all of the bad things that happen to us. We have learned to believe we should be compensated any time a bad thing happens to us because that is our society's way of thinking. When we do this we inadvertently accept victim-hood and incorporate it into our belief system.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I realize that my life is not controlled by what other people think of me.

Tuesday: If I make an honest mistake I do not feel shame.

Wednesday: I do not need to control what other people do.

Thursday: I do not blame others for their honest mistakes.

Friday: I do not try to control others by making them ashamed.

Saturday: Others are not obligated to me simply because they made an honest mistake.

Sunday: I give up the need to always be right.

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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