Dove with Branch
May 06, 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, People are using more and more informality in business. Business owners and managers have earned the respect that goes with their position. They should be paid the respect they are due. Even the mail boy thinks its okay to call the boss by his first name. I even get letters and e-mails saying "hi" to me and I am often addressed only by my first name. I think a boss deserves more respect. - Robert Johnson in MN

Dear Robert Johnson, If it is your company, you can probably have it any way you want it. However, the person who calls you by your first name may feel that he is respecting you by considering you his equal and his friend when using your first name. He wants friendship - you want respect. You are the boss; decide how you want it in your company. When you are doing that, think about what will be the most productive and friendliest working conditions for your employees. You may want to reconsider the idea that people owe you something just because of your position. - the Dean

Dear Dean, A worker in my office is trying to get ahead by stepping on other people. He blames others for his own mistakes and claims credit for the work of others. He tries to make himself look good and others look bad in any way he can. This is frustrating because it makes me look like I am not doing good work. How do I solve this problem? - Wendy in NY

Dear Wendy, By doing nothing about it, and keep doing good work! If you enter into the game your fellow worker is playing it will only cause you more trouble. Your supervisor is not stupid, and will be able to figure out what is going on. You both will ultimately be recognized for what you are contributing. Don't let this negatively affect your performance. Do your best and if it isn't eventually recognized in a positive way then consider finding a workplace where it will be. - 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

When we are growing up we are taught a belief system (way of thinking) by our parents, teachers, friends, government, etc. We then form opinions that differ slightly from our "lessons" because of our own individual personality. In other words, we believe and think the way we do because of the circumstances of our birth and environment.

The strange thing is that even when we know this is how our beliefs are formed we will still look at these beliefs we hold as the only right way of doing things. More importantly, we think that when other people do believe or do things differently that they are wrong. I believe the problem comes from the belief that many have that our beliefs are truth and should be defended regardless of the arguments against them, even if they are producing unpleasant results in our life.

If we would recognize that a peaceful and enjoyable life is a desirable goal we would have a standard that would allow us to reevaluate our own personal beliefs, and change those that are not producing the best results in our life. Much of the pain and suffering we have in this life comes from the idea that we must follow our beliefs, and that we have no other positive choice. Be willing to give up old beliefs that don't serve you well in order to increase your quality of life. Any time you feel upset it is good to reevaluate the belief that causes you to feel that way.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Most of our anger is caused because the real world does not live up to our expectation or our dreams. We keep insisting that the real world be a certain way. When it isn't we get angry. For example, you are in a nice restaurant having dinner and small children who are part of the family at the next table are being loud and disruptive, and that upsets you. You have an ideal view of how these children should act. You keep demanding that children act that way even though you have no power to control them. And you get angry when they don't do it your way.

We get angry when others in our culture - or outside of it - don't follow the cultural rules. A major role of anger in our culture is its policing function. For example, you expect people to stay in line and take their turn when checking out at the supermarket. Our society demands this behavior because if people don't follow these rules the less aggressive of us will have to wait much longer to purchase our goods and go home. When someone doesn't follow the rules and crowds to the front of the line, others often react by getting angry and shouting at them to get to the back of the line.

Although every culture's rules are subjective, and different segments of our society may have conflicting rules, anger is often employed against those who go against the rules, in order to coerce them into conforming. And because many of us refuse to accept cultural differences as natural and desirable, national governments are even able to use the anger resulting from such differences to justify war.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the times you get angry when other people don't do things the way you think they should.

Tuesday: Think about the reasons they do things the way they do.

Wednesday: Think about the idea that people should make choices that are appropriate for them.

Thursday: Think about how we should accept the choices of others as appropriate for them.

Friday: Think about how other people and other societies have different ideas about what is proper.

Saturday: Realize that it is normal and acceptable for other people to have different ways of doing things.

Sunday: Resolve to accept the customs of others as appropriate for them.

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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