Dove with Branch
November 11, 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 keep and enjoy displaying keepsakes from the past. My husband is concerned that some were gifts given to me by old boyfriends. He feels that it is inappropriate for me to even keep them. I don't have any attachment to the boy friends and wouldn't even think of them unless he mentioned it. I do like the gifts and don't want to throw them away. Should I do it anyway just to keep the peace? - Velma in IL


Dear Velma, The real problem seems to be your husband's jealousy. He should be working on getting over his jealousy. A successful marriage depends on trust. If he is willing to work on the problem you could help him out by giving away, or at least putting away the relevant gifts. Perhaps a compromise, such as putting away the gifts might be helpful if he agrees to work on his problem in return. Neither of you are perfect. Helping each other to get better is the basis of a good relationship. Perhaps there will be a time when you can again display them with his blessing. - the Dean


Dear Dean, We have been married for eight years. Every holiday my wife insists that we have dinner with her parents. I would be happy if we take turns but she says she doesn't enjoy dinner with my family. I enjoy my family and miss being with them. How can I get her to have holiday dinners with my family half of the time? - Drew in UT


Dear Drew, She may not be willing to go to your family but that shouldn't stop you from going. If you feel strongly that you should share the family dinners and she refuses you can go alone when it is your parent's turn. If you give in to her demands for the sake of the marriage then you may not have the kind of relationship you desire. If you want a relationship that is equal and she wants to be boss then something needs to change. Try to work with her to find an answer. Just letting her always decide what the two of you do is not good unless you want it that way, and obviously you don't. - 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

It has been fashionable when politicians change their mind about an issue, to accuse them of flip-flopping and to call them wishy-washy in their principals. I believe this is just a tactic used by someone who supports the original decision and is resisting the change. Many are willing to resort to calling names when they don't like what is happening.


First of all, I want politicians to be open to changing their minds if they see they have made a mistake. I don't want them to be like an ostrich and bury their heads in the sand when they see things going wrong. I call this driving square pegs in round holes. I suggest they get new pegs that fit instead of trying to use a bigger hammer to get them in with. I want them to be open to change when things don't turn out as expected. They are the ones who have studied the issues and the facts. I want their best judgment at all times, not just when the decision was made.


Secondly, we elected them to make our decisions for us. I do not want my representatives to make a decision simply because it might determine whether they are re-elected. Let us respect their choices until the will of the voters select someone else to replace them. If we want them to do the best job for us we need to give them the freedom to do what they think is the best job. We can learn to trust their judgment and then judge them by the results they produce.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can accept disagreement without being disagreeable in return. We don't have to require that we be treated well. We can accept the way other people treat us, in the sense that we don't get upset about it. We can assert our boundaries and refuse to accept the other person's position, without getting angry or upset. If we believe in our self and our own truths, then we can let the other person have their own truths, and just refuse to be affected by them.


Do we want to be happy, or do we want to be right? Whenever we are attached to being right, we are convinced the other person is wrong and we are right. As long as we cannot accept the idea that maybe they are also right, or at least realize that it just doesn't matter, we can't be free of our negative emotions or experience happiness and peace of mind. The more we accept the other person's reality as being authentic, the less upset we become.


As we become more accepting, we stop demanding that things go a certain way. It is part of our nature to want to give and receive love. When we demand things be a certain way, we are not giving love, and we seldom receive love in return when we don't give it. We get even less love when we give anger in return. Accept that there are many vantage points from which to look at the same thing. You can choose to change your way of looking at things to a way that is in line with happiness. The choice is yours.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Realize that it is not necessary to be offended when others disagree with you.


Tuesday: Realize that it is not necessary that other people accept your beliefs as true.


Wednesday: Accept and expect that others have truths that are different from your own.


Thursday: Do not get upset when others refuse to accept your truths.


Friday: Do not insist that others should believe as you do.


Saturday: Do not insist that others do things your way.


Sunday: Resolve to accept that the beliefs of others are appropriate for them.


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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