Dove with Branch
June 24, 2013 Insights From the Dean of Peace
Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peacemaker,

This weekly newsletter is available free by subscription. All copies are available on my website.

If you enjoy this newsletter and know someone who you think may enjoy it as well, please feel free to share it with them.

Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My friends are all going to Europe to study and tour and visit several countries this summer. My parents pay more attention and provide more for my brother than they do for me. I am a junior in High School but I don't even want to live at home anymore. How can I get them to treat me fairly? - Shannon in CT


Dear Shannon, It doesn't sound like a good reason to leave home. It does sound like a good reason to have a discussion with them. Without being angry or upset find out why they don't want to allow or support your trip to Europe. Explain pleasantly why you think it would be valuable for you to go. Respect their answer until you are an adult and are ready to do it on your own. Your parents are your teachers and guardians for now. They are responsible for your care and education. You should respect their choices. Very soon you will be making your own decisions. Try to learn and understand why they make the decisions they do. As harsh as it seems, you are not entitled to fairness as a matter of right. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My friends at school are able to wear the latest fashions. My parents will not let me wear them because they say that they are too expensive and not important. If don't wear them I won't be accepted by my friends. How can I get my parents to buy me the latest fashions? They are important to me. - Mandy in CO


Dear Mandy, Tell your parents why you want the new clothes and what it feels like to you not having them - and then accept their answer. Your parents are teaching you a certain way of life that they believe is important. They may feel that things other than being popular are more important. Respect their wishes and learn from the lessons they are teaching. It will help you to make better decisions when you are on your own.

- 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 natural to want things to be our way. It is also natural for other people to disagree with us when they want things to be a different way. That is just the way the world works. How we respond to this is a matter of choice on our part. Many of us have learned to respond to disagreement by others as a threat to our achieving what we want - in some case even a threat to our very existence. We see a "dog eats dog" world and we have to fight for our survival. As long as we look at the world that way life will always be a struggle and war will always exist.


We don't need to give up acting in our own self-interest to find a better solution to this dilemma. All we need to do is realize that it is in our own best interest to find a peaceful resolution to the conflicts arising in our life and then act in such a way that the other party(s) involved will be able to come to the same realization.


Nonviolent conflict resolution is something we started formally when we created the legal system. Our legal system has served us well in solving our differences within our own community. If we expand our idea of our own community to include the whole world we can develop a system of conflict resolution that will allow us to resolve our differences in a positive and non-threatening way. Once we do this, winning through force will no longer be the most effective conflict resolution tool - and we will be able to resolve our differences peacefully.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Accept yourself as you are right now and as someone who is able to make any change that you truly desire; once you have decided to make the change.


Whether you like the results or not, you are doing the best you can right now. Recognize that. Accept yourself fully for what you are now. You may want to change to something different, but for now this is where you are. Wanting to be different doesn't mean you are not okay for now - it's just where you are at the moment.


Challenge the "shoulds" and "must do's" in your life by believing that in the greater scheme of things, this event is not all that important and I can either decide that I am going to do it because I want to; or I am not going to do it at all. If you feel you must do something because you are obligated but don't really want to, take the time to examine your belief system for conflicting beliefs. Try to bring these beliefs into agreement or assign priorities to them so that you will be able to accept your own decisions. For example, you have a cousin who was in jail and you feel you should be nice to him because he is family, but you don't want to be with him because you don't approve of his behavior. This is an obvious conflict in your belief system that is causing some distress. Take the time to determine your priorities and resolve this conflict.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you are trying to be the best person you know how to be.


Tuesday: Accept yourself as a loving and caring person.


Wednesday: Think about the things you don't like to do but do because you think that you should.


Thursday: Think about the changes you would like to make to become the person you hope to be.


Friday: Recognize that you have the power to make any changes you desire in your life.


Saturday: Think about the beliefs you have that cause you to become upset and identify the reasons that cause you to be upset.


Sunday: Resolve that when you make choices that result in your being upset that you will examine them and choose a new response that is not upsetting to you.


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."


If you are a charitable or religious organization and would like to reprint any of my articles please contact me for permission, which will be cheerfully granted.


If you know someone who might be interested in using any, or all of my regular newspaper columns please pass this information on to them. Or send me their e-mail address, or telephone number, and I will be happy to send them the information.


Past issues of this newsletter are archived on my website.


I welcome your suggestion or comments. If you have a question that you would like addressed in the Ask the Dean? column feel free to send them to

If you wish to no longer receive this newsletter please send a reply which includes "unsubscribe" and the existing subject line in the reply.

The subject line and the address to which it was sent must be included.


Contact Information

Join our mailing list!