Dove with Branch
March 11, 2013 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? - Ken in MN


Dear Ken, 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. - Justin in CA


Dear Justin, 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

It is helpful to think of schools as having three basic functions: 1. To educate the students in the basic skills needed for life (the three R's). 2. To train the students so that they will be able to be productive members of society and to be able to provide for their own support. 3. To learn how to think and be creative so that they and the society can prosper. This third function has been very controversial because the agenda of change and growth is perceived as not in the best self interest of many in our society. However if we are to create a Peaceful New World, this is the area of our education that we must emphasize.


The basic objective of education has been to advance the knowledge of the people. However, this goal is often distorted because self-interest groups within the society are concerned that their particular agenda be advanced. They insist that what is taught in the schools is compatible with their individual group philosophy.


To create change we must learn the skills of creating. If we are taught that the law and our government and society are always right, then what we have today is what we will always have. What change we do experience will be created out of the best interest for a few controlling individuals. When we learn to recognize the positive possibilities of change, then we will be open to, and working for positive change. The student learns from the teacher. We can all be teachers whether we are in the educational system or not. What are we going to teach our children?

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We feel upset when we don't deal with unfinished business from the past. As we continue to hold onto our anger, our unforgiving thoughts become the cause of our suffering, and we continue to hurt. The only remedy for this pain and resentment is forgiveness. We can be free of suffering by letting go of the past. Becoming a happy person is really not possible until you free yourself from your anger and forgive.


If you find yourself fearful that what has happened in the past will happen in the future, try taking the opposite attitude - that things will be better now that you have learned the lesson inspired by the negative experience. Which attitude is the most productive- holding onto anger and being miserable, or practicing forgiveness and learning from the experience? Why not consider the person who "wronged you" as a teacher? If you look upon them as a teacher of one of life's lessons, it will be much easier to forgive them. Be thankful for the lesson. View the situation from the perspective of how you dealt with it rather than what was done to you.


To decide not to forgive is to decide to suffer. By shifting your perspective and refusing to blame others, or to carry any resentment, you open yourself to a happier existence. Forgiveness is letting go of all hope that we can somehow fix the past. We have all been hurt by the actions of others. It is always easy to justify your anger, but even with the strongest of justifications, you will never be happy if you hold onto the anger. The anger will have won out, and you will have lost, no matter how strong your "case."

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the people that you have not forgiven for something they have done.


Tuesday: Find a new way of thinking about them that forgives the past behavior.


Wednesday: Think about all of the things that have happened in the world that you are angry about.


Thursday: Find a new way of thinking about them that releases your anger.


Friday: Think about the things you have done that you have not forgiven yourself for.


Saturday: Resolve to look at your past mistakes as lessons and release them being thankful for the lessons.


Sunday: Choose to always forgive others and yourself for any poor choices that they or you make.


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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