Dove with Branch
July 08, 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 would like to take a moment and respond to Sybil's. I too was a victim of abuse when a child, I suffered at the hands of my own brother. I understand how easy it is to get lost and caught up in the "I'm a victim and it's really messing up my life," way of thinking. For years I ran from it, I drank and lived without Christ in life, I was a total sinner. Your answer was 100% correct. Until you forgive you can't move forward. People get caught in the thought of "if I forgive that person will get off the hook." That's not the case. They still have to face God for what they have done. When you forgive you free yourself, are then forgiven by God for your own sins, and you are free to move forward in life. Forgiveness is the first step to starting a new life. I know it's not easy, but I've been there. I pray that Sybil will find the peace and comfort she needs, and the strength to forgive and let it go. - Vonda in CA


Dear Vonda, Thank you for your great comments! Being able to forgive creates personal freedom. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My grown son is living at home. He brings his friends home with him and they are often loud and late at night. I am not able to get my sleep. I think he should no longer be able to bring his friends but my husband says they should be able to stay until they become disruptive. I know they won't do that. I think it's about boundaries and he needs to respect ours. - Ruth in MO


Dear Ruth, I don't see it just as a question of boundaries. It is also a question about negotiating with your husband. He is suggesting an alternate rule that he feels would be more appropriate. You should discuss and consider his suggestion. It is not just about your wishes. It is also about what works best, and your husband's wishes as well. If you decide to stay with the rule think of it as standing in your truth. When we think of it as a boundary then we create resistance (anger) when anyone tries to violate it. Yes your son needs to respect your (and your husbands) wishes if he is going to continue under your roof. - the Dean


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Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

Many of us live in a world of personal turmoil. We often fail to realize that inner peace and joy are equally available to each of us. Regardless of the circumstances in our life it is a personal decision whether we allow ourselves to be upset by what happens - or not. We will accept anything as appropriate if we personally believe that is the way life should be. And we will fear anything we believe is fearful.


We accepted the idea that communism was going to take over the world and that we must prevent it from advancing at every turn and at any cost. As a result of this fear we entered into war of rebellion against the government in Vietnam. Many lives were lost and even though we lost, the results turned out well. Things would have turned out even better had we not entered the war. Life is too dear to lose it over our irrational fears.


The next time we want to enter into a fight with someone I suggest that we look at the situation from their point of view, and try to determine what they want to accomplish instead of looking just at our fear of what could happen. The world is not naturally a "dog eat dog" world. We have made it that way unnecessarily because of our distrust and fears. Everyone may want something from someone else, but we have learned long ago that we can accomplish more by negotiating than fighting.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Children need to learn boundaries. They must learn the rules of our society. Teach them these things with love. Permissiveness is not love. And assertiveness is not anger. Model love for them, and they will see the value in not being fearful or angry. Remember, your child needs values, your time, and love; not things. Worthwhile values are imparted when you parent with love. The reward for this style of parenting is a happy and independent child with whom you will have a loving relationship for the rest of your life. Always, always, remember to treat your children with love.


Never accept anger from your child as appropriate behavior. Children learn to use anger when it is effective for them. They will keep using it as long as it works. Part of our job, as a parent is to not allow anger to be effective for our children. It is our job to show them a more effective way to deal with their problems. Whenever your child is angry, lovingly demonstrate to him or her that it is not appropriate behavior. Teach your child to find a more effective way of dealing with problems. As soon as your child is old enough to communicate verbally, teach them about expressing and dealing with their feelings.


Our children learn fear when we teach them that the world is a dangerous place, and that they must be fearful of dangerous things in order to protect themselves. Learn to teach them that this is a wonderful world in which good things happen when we are trusting and alert. Teach them to pay attention to provide for their well being, knowing that doing the best they can, will be enough.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the love you have for your children.


Tuesday: Recognize that you want your children to have a happy and enjoyable life.


Wednesday: Recognize that your children learn their lessons in life from you.


Thursday: Remember that if you model anger, your children will learn anger.


Friday: Recognize that if your child makes a mistake it is because he/she has not yet learned the lesson.


Saturday: Resolve to teach your children how to correct their mistakes in a loving way.


Sunday: Resolve to teach your children to love and trust the world.


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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