Dove with Branch
November 18, 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 brother is very successful and Wealthy. Mother and I live in Omaha. He does call mother from time to time but says he never has the time to visit with her. He could have afforded to fly her to New York if he wanted to see her. Mother has only a short time to live and he says he can't get away for at least a month. Mother probably won't make it that long. Mother says she understands but I know she wants to see my brother. What can I do to get him to understand seeing mother is more important than any business deal? - Linda in NE


Dear Linda, You can tell him how you feel and try to make him understand how much it would mean to Mother and the whole family. If he doesn't come don't hold it against him. Mother has accepted it and you should too unless you want to lose a brother. Your brother is not perfect, even in his own eyes. He has had to make some difficult life choices that only he can understand. Be willing to accept his choices. You seem to care about family. Do not double your losses just because you can't forgive your brother. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I am engaged to be married. My fiancée and I love each other very much but on the weekend he likes to go to the game with his friends. He invites me but I am not interested. I have tried to get him to do something that I enjoy but he is not willing to give up his games. I want to find a way we can do things together, what do you suggest? - Megan in CA


Dear Megan, I suggest you resolve this issue before you marry since you consider it an important one. A happy marriage requires agreement on important issues. If you do not have the ability to resolve important differences before marriage, you most likely will not have that ability during marriage. Even if you decide you can just put up with it, remember there will always be new issues arising. I do not suggest marriage if you are unable to resolve your issues. - 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

All too often when we have a problem in our society and we think we can solve it simply by spending more money. We think we can get better government or solutions to our social issues, just by hiring more people or paying higher salaries which will attract better people. More of the same is not always the best answer.


If the methods we are using or the people we are hiring cannot solve the problem we would be better served by first identifying the problem. We often spend much time searching for better results without really understanding why things are happening the way they are. The first step is to take a deeper look at what is behind the problem and what do we really want the outcome to be before we start looking for answers.


For example, our educational system is not producing the results we desire for our children. Instead of just hiring more teachers, let's take a serious look at what we are doing now and look for ways to be more effective. Our society is complex and requires skills beyond the three R's. Are we teaching our children the skills they need to produce the quality of life that we desire for them? Just what are the qualities we want our children to learn for their lives? How can we provide a good education when we don't even know the answers to these questions?


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Perhaps you're saying to yourself, "He is the one who makes me angry. I need him to change." This attitude is guaranteed to produce anger. If you can't accept your mate, or your colleague, or your child the way he or she is your relationship is not going to be a happy one. This is something that we must do in order to have a rewarding relationship. Choose to let go of every goal where your peace of mind depends on other people changing. Learn to think, "I love you just the way you are."


It is especially hard with our children because we didn't choose them but it is our job to train them. When they turn out to be different from the way we are training them we often have so such emotion invested in the value of our work that we are upset when the results are not as we intended for them to be.


If another person gives us a lot of negative stuff, we always have the option of no longer having that person in our life. Learn to think, "You are entitled to your own goals and way of living." Your choice is whether you want that person in your life or not. Unless they want to be different and ask you for help changing, realize the problem is yours and not theirs.

Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Realize it is not what other people do, but your opinion about what they do that makes you angry.


Tuesday: Realize that other people act appropriately according to their own beliefs.


Wednesday: Realize that the beliefs you hold are based on your own special upbringing and training.


Thursday: Realize that other people are trying to get along in the world the best way they know how, just as you are.


Friday: Think about the problems your anger causes you.


Saturday: Realize that any time you got angry it was because you chose to.


Sunday: Resolve that when you get angry you will determine the belief that caused your anger and change it.


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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