Dove with Branch
June 03, 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 have a problem at work. People never pass along important information to me, even though it is important for me to know so that I can do my work properly. For example I need to know about our orders so I can determine how much material to buy. This upsets me and affects my performance. How can I get them to give me the correct figures? - Doug in CA


Dear Doug, Have a meeting and talk about it. Explain your need and learn about their problems. If you are not getting the right answers learn to interpolate. The most important thing is to not allow yourself to become upset by this problem. If it is out of your control accept it as something you need to become more skilled in working with. - the Dean


Dear Dean, The people I work with are very aggressive people. I am not aggressive and don't need to be since what I do in my job is primarily to support them. The problem is that they are always taking advantage of me. They ask me to do much of the work they should be doing, and then are rude if it's not done the way they think it should be done. If I suggest they should do it themselves they just get angry and complain that I am rude and lazy. How should I deal with this? - Sarah in WI


Dear Sarah, Helping people is great if that is your job, or if you like doing that. If however it is upsetting you then you have the problem of dealing with the power issues of your fellow employees. Since this is extra work you have a choice of not doing it. If you like doing it then require that they appreciate and don't complain about it. Since you can choose not doing it don't feel you must, and don't be upset when someone asks - or when you tell them "sorry I can't help today" and they still complain. - 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

We refer to our legal system as an adversarial system. We call it an adversarial system because it is set up as a fight between two opposing parties. A trial is set up as a contest in which the best man wins. What we are seeking is the truth of the matter. A system where the most skilled combatant usually prevails is not the best path to the truth. Lawyers who always win do not win just because they choose clients who are always innocent.


In recent years we have introduced arbitration as a way of resolving legal disputes in business matters. When we use this method we are looking at the claims of both parties and trying to determine the solution that is most equitable for the particular situation. This encourages negotiation as this allows the parties to arrive at the same solution with less formalities, time, and cost.


Besides producing poorer results the adversarial system we now use produces more anger, and a waste of time and money for our society. It also makes the courts a tool that is used to resolve disputes just because of the power of money and advantage of delay. It is nice to provide work for lawyers, but society would be better served if we shifted from the adversarial system of justice to a method that puts more focus on the search for an appropriate resolution of the problems that must be resolved.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

A Rule To Make Choices By: For everything that happens in our life, there are three possibilities: (1) We can change it, (2) We can leave it, or (3) We can accept it. With each event in our life we need to make this choice.


For example, consider your work. You may not be happy with it just the way it is. Is there a way you might change it to make it better? If that is not possible, then your next choice might be to leave it. That may not be possible for the present, because you may need the work in order to eat, or pay the rent. You then can choose to accept your work, or you may choose to make a plan to change to new employment in the future. If you choose to make a change later, then you need to make the decision to accept your work for now. As with all of life's experiences, if we don't find a way to make our work experience a positive one, then we are left with negative emotions in our lives. To remove any anger or other negative emotions from your life, you need to apply this principle of change it, leave it, or accept it each time you need to make a choice. The important thing is to remember that if you can't change something and are not going to leave it that the only choice left for you is to accept it.


If you decide to go to work because you must have the money for food and shelter but you would prefer other work then make some effort to find or prepare yourself for other work. In the meantime you have chosen to go to work tomorrow, so go there with a happy face and enjoy it.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about something in your life that you are not happy about at the moment.


Tuesday: Think about why you are unhappy about it.


Wednesday: Think about how you can change it to make it better for you.


Thursday: Think about the possibility of no longer having this event or person in your life.


Friday: Think about something you have decided to do anyway that make you unhappy.


Saturday: Think about how being unhappy about the things you have chosen to do upsets you.


Sunday: Resolve to always accept and be happy with the things you have chosen to do.


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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