Dove with Branch
July 01, 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 work is very unpleasant. My boss is always criticizing me. He is always criticizing my work. My work is never good enough for him. How can I get him to stop criticizing my work? - George in IL

Dear George, His answer would be to make it absolutely perfect by his standard. But that solution would be impossible to achieve. What he wants is to get better results by motivating you through fear, and it is not working for him. Your reaction to him has the results of reducing your effectiveness. You are upset by his criticism because you choose to view it as unacceptable. You can choose to look at him as trying to be the old style football coach and view criticism as funny, or you can choose to find other work - among other options. Realize that it is not the way he is but it is the way you are reacting that is the problem and find a solution that will work for you. One thing to consider is telling him you want to do good work and ask him if he would be able to explain his needs in a way that you can understand them better. - the Dean

Dear Dean, I can never satisfy my father. I can never do anything good enough for him. Even when I follow his advice he still expects more. Whatever I do or say I am asked to do better. He thinks I must always strive for perfection. I can't remember him ever being satisfied with what I do even one time. I have spoken to both him and my mother about this, but it doesn't change even though they know how I feel. - Fred in CA

Dear Fred, If your father hated you he wouldn't be taking the effort to "improve" you. He is doing what he thinks is right in the best way he knows how. Find a way to gently let him know that what he is trying to do won't work. Let him know you want to create a good life for yourself and that it would be more helpful to you if he could learn to give you advice in a more positive way. Let him know you love him, thank him for trying to help, and suggest that maybe the two of you could find a way to make this work better. - 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

If we use war only in self-defense and even then only as a tool of last resort we will have much less war in the world. If we use war as a tool of last resort we will only have war when we have a failure of imagination. As long as we are able to think of other possible solutions war will not become necessary.

When we examine the wars we have participated in we have discovered after the fact that many of them were not necessary: because peaceful solutions were possible and that many wars didn't produce the desired results anyway. We have often found that the price for war was too high, even when we were the victor. This being the case we would be well advised to seek a less drastic resolution of our differences. Fortunately we are reaching a place in the evolution of our consciousness and our thinking that we are capable of developing far more effective resolutions to our conflicts with other nations and other societies.

The price of war in human casualties and resources has become too high for us to bear! The ability for us to understand and resolve our differences has risen to the level that we are capable of resolving our differences. All that is left to do is for each nation to give up the need to impose their ways and ideas on other nations. We will be able to do this when society and the individuals in the society give up the idea of imposing our will on others. We must be willing to be equal parts of a unified whole with each having the freedom to being their own person, neighborhood, city, state and nation.

Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Anger exposes our weaknesses. It causes us to lose control and to act in dogmatic ways. We make foolish decisions, we waste time and energy, and we may become obsessed with our self and the people we are angry with. We antagonize the people we love, and we lose friends. We do crazy, destructive, sometimes illegal things. We have stress, high blood pressure, intestinal problems, heart problems, and other physical discomforts.

We have all heard of the placebo effect. It is sometimes referred to as wellness thinking. Because we believe something is going to cure us it does. It is such a strong effect that all research on medicines is done without letting the patient know whether he is taking the real medicine or just a sugar pill. The opposite also applies. When we think we are going to get sick we most generally do. If we want to be happy and well it is extremely important to believe that we are. A recent study of the immune system shows that constant negative emotions cause certain cells in the immune system not to reproduce thus weakening the immune system and shortening an angry person's life by an average of eleven years.

Take a few moments and think about what fear and anger are costing you. Think of the friends and opportunities you have lost because of them. Think of some of the things you wanted to do that they have held you back from doing. Think of some of the things that you have not gotten because of your negative emotions - or those of others. Is the price of anger too high for you?

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you get upset when others act in ways that you believe they should not.

Tuesday: Think about things that upset you but do not upset other people.

Wednesday: Think about things that upset other people but do not upset you.

Thursday: Think about how you use anger to control the actions of other people.

Friday: Think about ways to control the actions of other people without being angry.

Saturday: Think about allowing other people to act as they choose when it does not affect you personally.

Sunday: Resolve to accept the rules of other cultures 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."

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!