Dove with Branch
September 30, 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, When we are adults we still take advice from others we trust. If we don't trust and accept the advice of others we are going to find the world a difficult place to live in. So the problem is not that we are getting advice from others. The problem is that we are getting advice from others that we don't want to follow; and we feel obligated or guilty not to follow it even though we don't want to. If the problem is that we don't want to take advice from anyone then we have a bigger problem that we need to pay attention to. The experience of others is always helpful in shaping our lives and making good decisions. - Cynthia in MO


Dear Cynthia, Well said! Life becomes difficult when we refuse to listen to advice. We need to learn how to consider and choose without stress. - the Dean


Dear Dean, Regarding Jim an earlier question on getting employee cooperation; if you want your employees to buy into your plans I suggest you start involving them in the decision making process. If they become part of the process they will more likely buy into the decision, even if they disagree with it. They will understand why others think it is important and that they have had a chance to have their say about it before the decision was made. Democracy is more popular than dictatorships in this country. - Jeff in PA


Dear Jeff, Great point! If we remain task oriented we are always looking for the best way to accomplish our goals rather than trying to force them to be done the way we think they should. - 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

We use anger in disciplining our children because we become upset by what they do, and we then become angry at the situation and often the child. We then tend to mix our anger in with the lessons we are trying to teach the child. But when we mix the "lesson" with our anger, we end up teaching our child that it is okay to respond with anger to things that upset us. When we respond with anger, the child learns anger.


As parents we often don't even realize that we are using anger. The first step in dealing with your own anger as a parent is to become aware of how you feel when you relate to your children, especially to their mistakes or when they are not following the rules. When we respond out of love, the child learns love. If we are free of anger, we teach our children love, not anger. We give them a life of positive love-based emotions. Just knowing that you can raise your child without anger should be reason enough for you to put forth the effort to get rid of your own anger.


Learn to talk about feelings with your children. Find out what upsets them and why. Find out why they feel the way they do. Work with them to solve their problems and to release their anger. Even though their friends display anger, they can learn from you that they don't need to use it themselves. Teach them that they can be far more effective, and accomplish more as a person if they are not controlled by fear and anger. Teach them how not to have fear and anger. You may need to learn this lesson for yourself before you can teach it to your children.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to perceive information that supports the beliefs we have. First we take note of the information presented to us that validates our belief systems, and we often fail to notice things that do not. Next, we interpret the information that we receive in a way that is consistent with our existing belief system. What if this wasn't necessarily the case? What if we considered the information in the light of differing belief systems? And what if we always looked at things from a number of points of view before making a decision? In order to win a trial, lawyers are trained to carefully examine the other possible points of view. If they do not, they will not be prepared to respond with the best argument for their case.


We know our opinions stem from our thoughts, not from external truth. So, perhaps we shouldn't go to battle over our truths as we so often do. Although deeply held, your truths are not necessarily those of others. When you come to terms with this reality and place feeling good above the need to be right, you'll be taking a giant step toward eradicating the angry conflicts in your life.


The need to be right is also the need to prevail. We live in a competitive society, and we like to be winners. Part of being right is winning the conflict. Realize this, and know that your desire to be right is your ego trying to win another contest. Reframe your thinking to accept the idea that we are all in this together. Expect that others will think differently and that their perception of events will not be the same as yours. Accept their differences with joy. If we were all the same it would be like living in "Pleasantville," the movie about life in the suburbs where everything is the same - dull, and colorless.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think the things that everyone thinks about as absolutely true are absolutely true, for them.


Tuesday: I think about how those truths have changed over time.


Wednesday: I think about the things that I believe are absolutely true.


Thursday: I think about why others do not believe the things that I do.


Friday: I think about the beliefs of others that they think are absolutely true but I do not.


Saturday: I think about others being entitled to their honest beliefs just as I am.


Sunday: I resolve that others are as entitled to their own beliefs just as I am.


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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