Dove with Branch
September 23, 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 am the production supervisor for a large company. I am an expert in production control as I have studied and worked in the field for years. I was chosen for my skills. The problem is that when I institute new plans that will improve our process the employees always resist them and we end up with the opposite result. What can I do to get my employees to go along with me? - Ray in NC


Dear Ray, If your job is to be a quality control supervisor you have only learned half of the job. As a supervisor your task includes getting the work done efficiently. This means you must get the other employees to buy into your ideas for change. That is part of your job. Start by liking them and appreciating their point of view and warming them to the task by getting them to understand the advantages for the changes you suggest. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My husband's mother frequently makes bigoted remarks in our home in front of our children. When I ask her to stop she says that it is what she believes, and keeps on making the bigoted remarks. How should I deal with this situation? I am considering not allowing her to come into my home. - Rhonda in MI


Dear Rhonda, Bigoted remarks are not appropriate in a loving world and we should not leave the impression that they are. Since your mother-in-law comes to your home I assume she has a loving relationship with your husband which should not be discouraged. You do not need to accept the remarks as appropriate or allow them in your and your children's presence. Finding a loving way for that not to happen would be appropriate. Perhaps she can understand your concern for your children's education. A solution which drives a wedge between your husband and his mother would not be positive. Do not stop loving the messenger even if you have a problem with the message. - 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

Our government's purpose is to provide for the greater good of our society as a whole. We often notice but tend to tolerate what we call "pork" spending whereby some of our more influential legislatures obtain funding for special projects in their district that seems out of proportion cost wise to the needs of the whole country. This is a concern we should pay more attention to and find a way to reduce the abuses.


A related problem that we fail to notice is that we tend to look at the benefits we will receive from a project and fail to notice the cost. When we put in a new "road to nowhere" we fail to notice how much benefit we get from it considering the cost to build it. We start projects with federal funding because the money is available rather than based on the merit of the project. If we wouldn't spend our own money to do it, why should we do it just because the federal government is going to pay?


If we have an attitude that we should get as much of the federal funds as possible then we become like the child who runs up debt on the family credit card without worrying because mom and dad will pay the bill. When we learn to care about our neighbors we will become more concerned about their having to pay for our extravagances. Society works better when we share than it does when we try just to "get what we can."


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We feel upset when we don't deal with unfinished business from the past. As we continue to hold onto our anger, our unforgiving thoughts become the cause of our suffering, and we continue to hurt. The only remedy for this pain and resentment is forgiveness. We can be free of suffering by letting go of the past. Becoming a happy person is really not possible until you free yourself from your anger and forgive.


If you find yourself fearful that what has happened in the past will happen in the future, try taking the opposite attitude - that things will be better now that you have learned the lesson inspired by the negative experience. Which attitude is the most productive- holding onto anger and being miserable, or practicing forgiveness and learning from the experience? Why not consider the person who "wronged you" as a teacher? If you look upon them as a teacher of one of life's lessons, it will be much easier to forgive them. Be thankful for the lesson. View the situation from the perspective of how you dealt with it rather than what was done to you.


To decide not to forgive is to decide to suffer. By shifting your perspective and refusing to blame others, or to carry any resentment, you open yourself to a happier existence. Forgiveness is letting go of all hope that we can somehow fix the past. We have all been hurt by the actions of others. It is always easy to justify your anger, but even with the strongest of justifications, you will never be happy if you hold onto the anger. The anger will have won out, and you will have lost, no matter how strong your "case." It will help you to forgive if you take the position that, in your life, no anger is justified.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Realize that there is nothing in this world that requires you to be angry.


Tuesday: Think of the people in your family you have not forgiven for things that they have done.


Wednesday: Release all anger which you still hold against anyone in your family.


Thursday: Think about all of the people in your life you have not forgiven for things that they have done.


Friday: Release all anger which you still hold against anyone.


Saturday: Release all anger that you hold against any institution, government, group or situation in the world.


Sunday: Resolve to always release any anger whenever it is experienced.


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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