Dove with Branch
June 25, 2012 Newspaper Columns
by Dean Van Leuven
Dear Peacemaker,


Each of the enclosed four columns is provided on a weekly basis with distribution on Monday of each week. You are invited to ten weeks free trial on any or all columns.

The normal price for each column per insertion is $3.50. If you purchase two columns per week the price is $7.00. If you purchase any threefor the week the price is $10.00; and you may use the fourth column without charge.

Column 1 - Ask the Dean?
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, As I was reading Fred in NY's letter, I was wondering if he and his fiancÚ have discussed hosting a holiday dinner at their home. It would be a good way for the family to see both of them interacting with each other. Even though Fred is not Italian, taking time to talk to her family and learn about the Italian culture could help them accept him. I would hazard a guess that her family would enjoy teaching him, if he is willing to learn. My husband is Filipino and I enjoy learning about his customs and how to prepare some of his favorite meals. I especially enjoy trying all of the dishes his family prepares when we visit. Having an open mind, a desire to learn and a willingness to try new things has always helped me bridge cultural gaps. It also helps not to be too opinionated when controversial issues are discussed. Discretion and a neutral stance usually leave family members with a good feeling. - Claire in NM

Dear Claire, Great insights! - the Dean

Dear Dean, I am sensitive to my weight, and do not like being reminded about it. I like to go swimming but people often kid me about my roll. How should I respond so that people will stop teasing me about it? - Sarah in AZ

Dear Sarah, Accept their comments with a smile. It would be good to laugh with them if you can learn to laugh about it yourself. The fact you are heavier than other people should be no reason to depreciate yourself. We can't enjoy life in this world until we learn to accept things as they are. Weight is not a real quality of personal worth. Give up the idea that it is. What other people think of you is their business and not yours. Give up the idea that you obtain your value from what they think of you. - the Dean

Send your Ask the Dean Questions to: 90022 Sheffler Rd., Elmira, OR 97437 or visit to submitby e-mail. Dean Van Leuven is a psychologist,teacher and author of numerous books aboutemotional skills.

Column 2 - Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Globe Magnify Glass

We see freedom as the right to do as we please without interference from others. We have the right to become more educated, choose our religious faith, and our form of government. We also have the right to know what is right and to fight for our causes. The problem with this concept of freedom is that it does not take into consideration the freedom of others. If they do not agree with our "right causes," then we think they are wrong and must be corrected or submit to our will.

We need to expand our idea of freedom to include the right of freedom for other people. They have the same right to have causes and beliefs that are different than our own just as we differ from them. We need to consider the right of other people to be free as important as our own right to be free!

Once we see freedom as something we create together we see the necessity of understanding the other person's point of view instead of treating it as wrong. We don't consider others just to be fair. We do so in our own self interest. When we realize our freedom depends on our ability to understand the thinking of others we will pay more attention to and be more accepting of what you say and do. To not accept the belief of others as appropriate can make life most difficult for us.

Column 3 - Creating a Peaceful New World
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   World Peace

Humor is a good way to divert your attention from a stressful situation so that you can more easily accept and deal with it. You experience what you are focusing on. With your focus on humor, you are focusing on positive emotions. The anxiety of anticipating something is greatly lessoned by focusing on the humor. When you anticipate the stress, you then feel the pain. The basic rule is that what you dwell on becomes yours. Joke with the dentist when he is pulling your tooth, and you will have less pain. The story of Doctor Patch Adams and how he uses humor in healing his medical patients is a great example of what humor can do for us. Other doctors have successfully used laughter as a cure. This works because we shift into our positive emotions when we laugh.

We use humor all of the time in our society as a way of deflecting the stress and other negative emotions in our lives. The reason why the best professional comedians are so popular and well respected is that they have a powerful positive effect on our emotions. Erma Bombeck, Robin Williams, George Burns, Lucille Ball, Carol Burnett, Bill Cosby, and many more have become immortal because they help us to see the world's problems - and our own - including the things that upset us - in a new light, a laughable light.

Take the opportunity whenever you can to look, read, or listen to humor - and take the time to appreciate it. Make it a practice to tell others about the things you see that are especially funny to you.

Column 4 - Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
by Dean Van Leuven - the Dean of Peace   Left Arrow

Monday: Today I decide to look at the funny side of life.

Tuesday: Every time I feel stressed about something I stop and look for a humorous way of looking at the event.

Wednesday: Whenever I do something that brings on stress I stop for a moment and find the humor in it.

Thursday: Today I read the comics and find something funny in each comic strip.

Friday: Today I watch a funny movie or a comic on TV.

Saturday: Today I laugh about whatever is troubling me.

Sunday: I resolve to find the humor in each and every event that occurs in my life.

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 Information

If you use any of the columns please advise of the columns used and the date of insertion.

Please advise me of any modifications in format you may require, and permission will gladly be granted. Dean Van Leuven

Images are avilable on request in .jpg format


Contact Information

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