Dove with Branch
October 14, 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 wife often has to work late and sometimes goes on business trips where she works and socializes with men. This kind of situation is dangerous for our marriage and I have asked her not to do this. I have even told her that she must give up the job if she wants to save our marriage, but she says I must learn to trust her. I don't want to end the marriage but I am unable to accept this situation, what should I do? - Burt in PA


Dear Burt, Unless you really don't have enough trust to accept her as she is, telling her it was a condition of marriage is not conducive to a good relationship. A loving relationship is based on love; and love is founded in trust. Why would you want her if she wants someone else? If you want a loving relationship you must accept and trust her. Not trusting her may well result in her not being trustworthy. Decide whether you want a partner you can trust or one you can control. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My brother is always making a mess of his life. He uses drugs, drinks, can't hold a job and has lost four wives. Every time he gets in a mess he comes to me to bail him out. I feel like bailing him out is really not helping, but how do I stop doing that? I can't make him live on the street. - Sandra in OH


Dear Sandra, The answer is to give love and emotional support always and think carefully about the other support you give. Ask yourself if you are being caring or enabling? Sometimes this is a very difficult question. If you are having difficulty with this issue talk to someone outside the problem. If you need a place to seek help look up Co-Dependants Anonymous or Al-Anon. You are facing the same problems as someone who has an alcoholic in their life. Learn not to feel guilty for problems that you have no responsibility for. - 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

Over the centuries we have fought many wars in the name of freedom. People become convinced that someone is controlling, or trying to control their freedom and they are willing to go to war to gain, or protect it. We think of freedom as a circumstance of our life rather than a quality of life. We often forget that freedom is more about how we feel than our actual limitations.


When we see ourselves as free then we are free, regardless of the circumstances of our condition. When we think we are free, then we refuse to be subjugated by anyone or anything. We can even be free when we are in jail if we are there because we have chosen the acts that put us there. Freedom is a state of mind not a circumstance of life.


Freedom is a quality of life that others cannot give or take away. It is the nature of who we are. We choose to be free or not, and are only subjugated when we accept not being free. Just because others in the past have accepted not being free does not mean that we must. We lose our freedom whenever we try to take it away from others, because that is based on the belief that people can be subjugated which is a belief that creates our own fear of subjugation. When we as individual humans truly embrace freedom, then war will no longer exist.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Humor can be an effective way to prevent our negative emotions from occurring. It is not possible to experience true humor and negative emotions at the same time. If you find something funny you are not looking at it in a negative way. When we look for the humor in every situation and respond with humor whenever possible, we tend to blunt the tendency to feel negative about something. Instead we transform it into a positive emotion. When we do this we change the negative situation or the event, whatever it may be, into a positive event from our point of view.


Humor can also be thought of as a way of re-appraising a situation. Because you have thought of something in a humorous way, you have changed it into an emotionally positive event. You have intentionally placed yourself in your positive emotions when you chose humor as a response. Also, this allows you to send the information to the thinking center of your brain in order to develop an effective reply. Thinking about something instead of just reacting, tends to remove or reduce the emotional impact.


When you respond with humor you are able to actually shift from a negative emotion to a positive one just by the way you perceive and react to the event. Thinking it is funny when someone cuts in front of you in traffic will change your emotional response. By using humor, you're telling yourself that you refuse to take things too seriously. Humor reduces the seriousness of your thought. It shows that you can laugh at your failures. Humor laughs at our failures, but in an accepting and tolerant way. It helps you see the other side of things.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how often you use humor.


Tuesday: Think about how it makes you feel when others use humor.


Wednesday: Think about how humor can transform a negative situation.


Thursday: Think about how others feel when you respond with humor.


Friday: Think about how good it feels to be able to laugh at whatever happens.


Saturday: Think about something that disturbs you and find a funny way of looking at it.


Sunday: Resolve to always see the funny side of life.


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!