Dove with Branch
July 16, 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, Many of our relatives like to visit because while they are on vacation because we live close to great fishing. We don't mind them staying with us but we just don't have the extra money for food (and we don't fish). How do we let people know we can't afford to have them stay with us? - Del in MN

Dear Del, Staying with you doesn't seem to be a problem except for the expense. Why can't you simply let them know your situation? Being with friends is still a good deal for both of you. Be honest and things will work out fine. They will be happy to cover expenses, or stay elsewhere. Fail to tell the truth and everyone will be upset. - the Dean

Dear Dean, My husband's family don't approve of me. They think I am not good enough for him because I am not of their culture. They are always finding fault with me and telling him he needs to find someone of their ethnic background. The problem is that he will go there for holidays without me. I want to be with him on the holidays but he says he can't neglect his family and that I should go and they will eventually accept me. - Nora in MO

Dear Nora, The inability to understand ethnic differences frequently results in problems. This is something both you need to work out. Neither you nor he is obligated to handle it in a certain way, or do a certain thing. What you do need to do is find a solution that will work for both of you. Look hard at the possibility of going with him, even if the reception is cool. They may warm when they grow accustomed to you, and see that he truly cares for you. The important thing is to resolve this problem in some way that works for both of you. How effective the two of you are at resolving differences is usually more important than the differences. - 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

In order to live together in peace we require some sort of rules governing our conduct so we know what is expected of ourselves, and others. We do this when we pass the laws of our city, county, state and national governments. Without those laws and our acceptance of them we would have anarchy. In our country those laws are based on the will of the majority, and the rights of the individual.

A problem often arises because we don't fully accept this system. If we don't like a particular law we resist, or ignore it. When new enforcement measures are instituted we support them if we like the law, and resist them if we don't. When we don't like the law, we resist the idea of using new technology to catch violators.

For example we supported the use of DNA testing because it caught murders and rapists. We all agreed that they were bad and the law was good. They are now introducing new laser technology to measure the distance between cars to enforce the tailgating laws. Tailgating is a serious problem. It causes unnecessary death on the highway. Preventing tailgating saves lives! Just because we have a bad habit of violating the law doesn't mean we should resist its enforcement. When we determine the law has value let's support its enforcement. If you don't care about your own protection that is one thing, but this law is there for the protection of your neighbors and friends. If you care for them you won't resist enforcement.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can change the world by changing our thoughts about it. When we learn to change our basic beliefs about things, we have the capacity to look at life - and everything else that happens to us - differently. This process is referred to as changing our belief system. When we do this, we even change the system of cause and effect. How does this work? Once we've changed our view of the world, things will not work the same for us as they did before. The same events that we were experiencing in the past will now inspire different responses than they did before - and thus different results.

Our belief system is an extremely complex system that contains all of the things that we have learned in our whole life. These are all the beliefs that we have been taught and accept as being true. Our beliefs determine how we think the world works and embody the truths we hold to be self-evident and accept without question. In order to make meaning out of any new input to our mind we always compare this new information to our existing belief system.

If we want to change the way we feel, then we must change our beliefs. You'll be able to experience a wonderful new way of life if you can just alter your beliefs to encompass wonderful expectations of life. This is because what you believe will happen is what will happen. Almost always we find the world out there to be the world we expect it to be. So for the world to seem good to you, it is essential that you expect that it will be good.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I recognize I create my own personal view of the world just by the way I think about things.

Tuesday: I recognize that if I don't like what is happening and I am powerless to change it that I will remain unhappy unless I change how I feel about it.

Wednesday: I recognize that I can make my world better just by thinking it is better.

Thursday: I recognize that if I accept what is happening as just how the world works it is not necessary to remain unhappy.

Friday: I recognize my beliefs were created by the things I have learned from others.

Saturday: I resolve to examine any belief that results in my unhappiness.

Sunday: I resolve to change any belief I hold that results in my unhappiness.

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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