Dove with Branch
June 10, 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, Before my mother passed away she put in her will that she be cremated and told me as I was her Personal Representative. She asked me not to tell anyone until after her death because she was afraid they would be upset and try to talk her out of it. When she passed away and I informed everyone; to no surprise they were upset. They were not only upset with her, but were upset with me for not informing them. One sister will no longer speak to me. Do you think respecting her wishes was proper in this circumstance? - Tess in GA

Dear Tess, Yes I think you did the right thing! Your mother has the right to choose in these things and it is appropriate for you to respect her wishes. The reason your relatives are upset is because of their own personal problems of not being able to accept your mother's wishes. Stay loving, do not let this upset you and go on with your life knowing you did exactly what your mother wanted and that is what mattered. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I work the day shift which starts at 7:00 AM. I found that I have become accustomed to late hours during my school years and now have trouble sleeping. I would like to work a later shift so that I would be more effective on the job but am afraid to ask. What do you suggest? - Tom in CO

Dear Tom, I suggest you first consider your options and choose the one that you believe will be the most effective in the long run. Unless you can change your habit to get enough sleep then asking to work a later shift seems like an attractive option. Since that is available at your present workplace, it would seem that asking to change is an option that would most likely be attractive to both you and your employer. They would benefit from a more energetic worker on the job and would most likely accommodate you. Just be sure that you ask in a positive way so that they will see value both in you and your request. - 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 have learned that bullying people and making them do things the way we want them to be done has not been effective in the home, in the workplace and in our local community. Whenever we try to do that we create resistance. People refuse to cooperate with us because they feel put upon by the way we are treating them. We want to be accepted and liked by other people for who we are and they are treating us just the opposite.

True, we can learn to recognize this is what is happening and learn not to be upset by it. This is difficult for many of us to learn. And is still not giving us the love and approval we naturally seek. This bullying behavior leads to an even greater problem. It leads to us as a nation using that kind of behavior when dealing with the other nations of the world.

If it doesn't work well in the home and the community it is not going to work well in the world. The result is that it leads to a world society that is held together through fear rather than common respect and caring for each other as fellow human beings. The world is here for us to enjoy. Why should we waste our lives generation after generation living in disharmony? All we have to do is change our way of looking at things and we can produce the joy and peace we all seek in our lives. Furthermore, we don't have to wait for the rest of the world. We can learn to experience joy and peace in personal lives now.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can accept disagreement without being disagreeable in return. We don't have to require that we be treated well. We can accept the way other people treat us, in the sense that we don't get upset about it. We can assert our boundaries and refuse to accept the other person's position, without getting angry or upset. If we believe in our self and our own truths, then we can let the other person have their own truths, and just refuse to be affected by them.

Do we want to be happy, or do we want to be right? Whenever we are attached to being right, we are convinced the other person is wrong and we are right. As long as we cannot accept the idea that maybe they are also right, or at least realize that it just doesn't matter, we can't be free of our negative emotions or experience happiness and peace of mind. The more we accept the other person's reality as being authentic, the less upset we become.

As we become more accepting, we stop demanding that things go a certain way. It is part of our nature to want to give and receive love. When we demand things be a certain way, we are not giving love, and we seldom receive love in return when we don't give it. We get even less love when we give anger in return. Accept that there are many vantage points from which to look at the same thing. You can choose to change your way of looking at things to a way that is in line with happiness. The choice is yours.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Realize that it is not necessary to be offended when others disagree with you.

Tuesday: Realize that it is not necessary that other people accept your beliefs as true.

Wednesday: Accept and expect that others have truths that are different from your own.

Thursday: Do not get upset when others refuse to accept your truths.

Friday: Do not insist that others should believe as you do.

Saturday: Do not insist that others do things your way.

Sunday: Resolve to accept that the beliefs of others are 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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