Dove with Branch
May 27, 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, I work in Oakland but I live in San Jose. The really enjoy my work, but the commute is miserable. Sometimes it takes over two hours to get home from work. My family is suffering because I arrive home late and in a bad mood. Do you have any suggestions? - Charles in CA

Dear Charles, The basic rule in dealing with life's problems is - accept it, change it, leave it, accept it, or experience misery. You have gone directly to the last step. Go back to the second step and look for solutions such as moving, changing your or your family's hours, or working at home. If that doesn't solve your problem then consider finding another employer or work that will fulfill your needs. If that doesn't work find a way to accept the commute. Perhaps you can find some way to enjoy this period such as listening to educational or music CDs, taking a course, or writing a book. For the well being of both you and your family find a way to avoid the misery. - the Dean

Dear Dean, When I was young my stepfather sexually abused me for years. This was never dealt with or reported to authorities and my mother still lives with him. The problem is that I am still greatly disturbed by this and it is messing up my life. I have no money for counseling. What do you suggest? - Krystal in AK

Dear Krystal, You can afford counseling because there are places where you can find free counseling. Check with your church, city or county offices or simply look in the newspaper or phone book for what support services are available in your area. As long as you are unable to forgive and feel victimized by the event you will not be able to enjoy a happy present life. What happened is in the past, and you live in the present. It is not necessary to allow the past to mess up the present. You will be able to stop suffering as soon as you learn how. It is time to learn that you are no longer damaged. - 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

One by one the dictatorships and monarchies of the world are slowly fading away. As the people become more educated and are able to make better decisions for themselves they are more able to provide for their own governance and less tolerant of others controlling the wealth and quality of life in their country. People are becoming more aware of how others live and are demanding that they be free to have those things in their life.

A recent example of this process is the Country of Nepal. They were able to adopt a new constitution and remove the monarchy and replace it with a representative form of government. What is so remarkable is that they accomplished this with a revolutionary movement that didn't result in armed conflict.

We are learning that we can create positive change more effectively through nonviolence than through war. Once this lesson sinks in to the people of the world we will find a way to replace the despots of the world with freely elected governments to carry out the will of the people. When we realize that we create a better life by living in peace than we do by wasting our resources on telling other people how they must live their lives, we will find a way to work together to create a meaningful and lasting peace in the world. We the people are evolving! With our evolution comes the understanding that we are all in this together. We now know that war does not bring peace. That war only brings more war is a lesson we have learned from history.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to make ourselves the victim of our own thinking. We grow up expecting certain things out of life, and when those things don't happen, we feel cheated. When something bad happens we tend to say, "What did I ever do to deserve this?" We find it difficult just to accept what happens because we get tied up in our own expectations and attachments. We put ourselves in the victim role whenever we deny that the feeling of being a victim actually originates in our own mind and that it is just the choice we have made about how we look at what happened.

If you find yourself thinking in terms of "How can I possibly cope with this awful situation?" you are admitting that you are a victim. Thinking about how you can just get by is victim thinking. Instead we need to think in terms of, "I am in control here." "I am the boss of my life." Until you take over the control of your life in every way, you are making yourself a victim. "Taking control," means that you are the one who makes choices about your own life based on your independent needs and thinking. It means that you are not making your choices based on what someone, or everyone else, is telling you that you must, or must not, do.

Refuse to become the victim of your own beliefs. Whenever you discover that you have beliefs that depreciate or upset you, don't allow them to remain. Examine them and make the necessary changes to align your thinking with beliefs that will allow you to get the best out of life.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if you are absolutely sure it is true.

Tuesday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if it is based on your own independent thinking.

Wednesday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if this belief actually helps you in life.

Thursday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself how much it has helped you so far.

Friday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself how it will affect your life in the future.

Saturday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself how it fits in with your other beliefs.

Sunday: Find a belief that upsets you and ask yourself if there is a better belief to replace it with.

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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