Dove with Branch
July 22, 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, My twenty year old son has just finished his first year of college. He lives at home with me while attending school. He wants to take a year off and travel about the country before he finishes college. I have forbidden him to do so and have told him I will not pay for his college or let him live at home if he does. Do you think that is a reasonable thing to do? - Cynthia in CA


Dear Cynthia, He has a right to make his own choices. You have no obligation to support his travel or to pay for his college afterward, but traveling and being on his own can be a good learning experience. He should make and learn from his own choices even if they seem wrong to you. Punishing or trying to control him by withholding support for education that you are otherwise willing to provide is not helpful for his growth. It may seem the best to you but may not be for your son. - the Dean


Dear Dean, Our daughter has just graduated from high school and we want her to go on to college and are willing to pay for her education. Instead she wants to go to trade school to become a plumber. We think she is capable of being much more than a tradesman. How can we encourage her to go on to college before she decides what she wants to do in life? - Beverly in IL


Dear Beverly, How can she be more than a plumber? One profession is not better than the other. Her choice may be different than yours. But that is part of the freedom that exists in our society. Do you want your child to be their own person or your person? Not that it matters but plumbers make more than the average college graduate these days. - 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 are going to have peace in the world, whether someone else's religion is better than our own is irrelevant. In order to have peace we must have freedom. If we are going to have freedom we must be equal. If I look at you as less than me in some way I have not given you the freedom to be my equal. Also I have not given myself the freedom to be your equal. When I look at you as less than me in some way then I am unable to be your loving brother and you will find it difficult to be my loving sister.


If you brought someone from north of the Artic Circle to live in your city most likely he would have great difficulty adjusting to life there. If on the other hand you were to find yourself somewhere north of the Artic Circle you would be lucky to survive without the help of those who live there. It would be easy for them to think that in their world you are the inferior one and not offer you the help you need to survive.


It is in our nature to desire love, respect and approval from others. When those things are not given and received we are not at ease with each other. When we are ready to give up the idea that it is important to judge others and that being superior to them in some way is important to us we will be able to open our hearts and our arms to each other and live in a peaceful new world.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Challenge the shoulds, oughts, musts and have-tos in your life. If you feel that you have to do something that you really don't want to do, you are sure to get angry. If you think it is really the right thing to do, then just accept it and do it. If you think it might not be what you want to do, then think it through clearly, make a choice and accept your choice. If you are still troubled by this problem, or by your decision then realize that you have conflicting beliefs.


You would not feel stressed by your choice of how to deal with an event if you were totally in agreement with your own decision. Take feeling stressed as a signal that you have to look at your belief system in order to either eliminate some belief, or to align it somehow with your other existing beliefs. We have all been from time to time, the victim of our own conflicting belief system. Don't let this kind of event pass by any more. Do the work to align your beliefs. Until you do, you will continue to be stressed when similar events occur.


It is self-defeating not to like the action you have chosen. This is the time to remember that you, and only you, are in control of your life. Once you make a choice, work to make it the right choice. If you find that it is not the right choice, then change to a new and better choice. Feeling that we are trapped and must do what we don't want makes life difficult.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things you feel you must do even though you don't want to do them.


Tuesday: Choose a new way to respond or to accept your present response as the correct one.


Wednesday: Think about the things you feel you should do even though you don't want to do them.


Thursday: Choose a new way to respond or to accept you present response as the correct one.


Friday: Think about the things that you must do each day that upset you.


Saturday: Choose a new way to respond or to accept you present response as the correct one.


Sunday: Resolve that any time you feel stressed, to make a new choice that is perfectly right for 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."


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