Dove with Branch
July 09, 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, We can't help it because we are short or tall, dark or light skinned. It is just the way we are born. Other people will sometimes look down on us because they think we are inferior or just different. They have learned that it is great sport to make fun of us. If we allow this to happen because we feel insecure about ourselves then we really take the fun out of life. Once you realize you are okay just the way you are you can learn to let other people talk that way without letting it bother you. - Shelly in NY

Dear Shelly, Right on! Some people get power over other people by picking on them. The truth of the matter is we are all equal, but don't really believe we are because our parents and the world have taught us to believe we are superior/deficient in some way. If we respond by being upset they have accomplished their purpose. Just recognize the truth that they have the right to say what they want and you have the right not to be upset by it. - the Dean

Dear Dean, We live in a society where people "rise to the top" by stepping on other people. They think it is a "dog eat dog world" so they put us down just so they will feel better. We can't let them step on us we need to fight back. If we don't, they win and we lose. - Brad in NJ

Dear Brad, If we are going to operate by the same rules they do, then you are right. Under their rules the tough guy wins the game. But if you are going to enjoy life then it is not a good game to play because it is stressful and no matter how good you are, sometimes you lose. Better to play the game of life based on love and you will attract the people and the experiences to you that will make life wonderful. Ask yourself: "Do I want to enjoy this life or do I want to acquire power and possessions?" You will be surprised how much true personal power and happiness you achieve through love. - 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

It is proper and fitting for us to have moral laws in our society. If we didn't do this, then we would be able to treat each other in any way we feel fit. For instance, if we felt it was justified to shoot someone who injured someone in our family in any way, and there was no law against it we would do it. In order to have peace in our society we must have common agreement on what is right and wrong. Moral law is our way of applying the "Golden Rule."

A problem comes about when we decide what is right or wrong in our society must also be right or wrong in all societies. We have equal rights; now everyone must. We have democratic government; now everyone must. We do not allow age, gender or religious discrimination in the workplace; now everyone must. Perhaps these are good laws, but who is to decide that when others disagree?

There is a way that we can do that peacefully. We can create a world governing body that can decide those issues. We have a governing body now, the "United Nations." However, we do not allow it settle those issues because we are afraid we may disagree with the rules created. Until we come together as a world body and agree to resolve these issues - decide when we must agree and when we are allowed to disagree - we will never experience a peaceful world society.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Anything you consider important in your relationship should be discussed and agreed to ahead of time by both of you. When new things come up as your relationship progresses, they should be worked out mutually. You have no right to be upset just because your mate doesn't want to do things your way. Their ideas of what they expect and what they are willing to contribute are just as important as yours are. Expecting them to conform to your notion of how a partner should be, when they haven't agreed to those expectations, and becoming angry when they don't live up to them, is unfair and unreasonable.

It is especially important to pay attention to these issues at the present time because our society is transforming its idea of how we look at the partnering relationship. Traditionally we looked at the relationship as the male provider and the female nurturer. This concept is changing to a new concept of equality where the lines between these roles are no longer clear. If you are expecting the old traditional relationship you need to find a prospective partner who is seeking that kind of relationship as well.

Since the present forms of relationship are still emerging and far more complex in most cases you will need to consider each others expectations. Be open to reaching compromises on many smaller issues before deciding to enter into a long term relationship. Starting out with commitment and then finding out whether it works or not tends to consume much more emotional energy than most of us would like to expend.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about and picture how I think a relationship should be.

Tuesday: Today I think about my partners or prospective partner's picture of how a relationship should be.

Wednesday: Today I think about the things that I believe are essential in a relationship.

Thursday: Today I think about the importance of explaining how our relationship should be to my partner.

Friday: Today I resolve to discuss and understand my prospective mate's point of view.

Saturday: Today I decide to resolve differences through negotiation and understanding.

Sunday: Today I resolve to understand my prospective mate's expectations and to resolve any difference before entering into a relationship.

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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