Dove with Branch
November 25, 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 have a problem with my children wanting to do such things as ear piercing or tattoos and they always say that everyone one else is doing it and they won't fit in if they don't. How do you suggest I handle this? - Glenda in MO


Dear Glenda, As parents we have the ability to stand back a see how fads come and go. For a young person it is very easy for a tattoo to be desired because it is fashionable "in the moment". I made it clear to my children if they wanted a tattoo, or other than the single ear piercing, they would have to wait until they were 18. If they still wanted them, then by all means they were now adults and could make that decision. I also talked to them about how important it is to be true to themselves, and that if a "friend" rejects them for being different then they weren't really a friend. My children have a sense of self that don't make it necessary to follow the crowd. - the Dean


Dear Dean, When I tell my husband about my problems he always gives me advice on what I should do and it makes me upset. I know he is trying to be helpful, but I can solve my own problems in my own way. I just want someone to hear my concerns. He still keeps on doing this even though he knows it upsets me. I have told him I just want him to listen without giving advice, but he does it anyway. How can I get him to stop? - Judith in WA


Dear Judith, If you don't want his help and you are upset when he tries to offer it, maybe you shouldn't keep telling him your problems? It might be more effective for you if you would let him offer advice, and then either use it or reject it as you see fit. Not seeking or listening to outside advice only reduces our effectiveness in dealing with a problem. It would be helpful if he could listen without giving advice, but that is his problem. Try not to make it yours by becoming upset about it. - 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

In order to become a peaceful society we must learn how to be peaceful. We learn this mostly through our education as we are growing up. We learn it from our parents, our teachers and others in our society. Before we can become peaceful we must learn peaceful ways of thinking. We need to give up such things as our upset because others have inconvenienced us or want to do things differently. This comes from our education.


We spend approximately ten times the money on national defense that we spend on education. Because we have not learned peace, we spend much of our resources protecting ourselves. One answer is to spend more money on education. A better answer, I believe, is to develop and teach the concepts that will produce peace, and reduce our defense budget down to the size of our education budget.


Is this reasonable? - - I think so. The U.S. and its Allies spend about three times as much on "defense" as the rest of the world. Most of our military spending is caused because we disagree with what others are doing, not because they are attacking us. We have ample opportunity to find more peaceful solutions when we become willing to accept that things must not always go just the way we want them to.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Accept yourself as you are right now and as someone who is able to make any change that you truly desire; once you have decided to make the change.


Whether you like the results or not, you are doing the best you can right now. Recognize that. Accept yourself fully for what you are now. You may want to change to something different, but for now this is where you are. Wanting to be different doesn't mean you are not okay for now - it's just where you are at the moment.


Challenge the "shoulds" and "must do's" in your life by believing that in the greater scheme of things, this event is not all that important and I can either decide that I am going to do it because I want to; or I am not going to do it at all. If you feel you must do something because you are obligated but don't really want to, take the time to examine your belief system for conflicting beliefs. Try to bring these beliefs into agreement or assign priorities to them so that you will be able to accept your own decisions. For example, you have a cousin who was in jail and you feel you should be nice to him because he is family, but you don't want to be with him because you don't approve of his behavior. This is an obvious conflict in your belief system that is causing some distress. Take the time to determine your priorities and resolve this conflict.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how you are trying to be the best person you know how to be.


Tuesday: Accept yourself as a loving and caring person.


Wednesday: Think about the things you don't like to do but do because you think that you should.


Thursday: Think about the changes you would like to make to become the person you hope to be.


Friday: Recognize that you have the power to make any changes you desire in your life.


Saturday: Think about the beliefs you have that cause you to become upset and identify the reasons that cause you to be upset.


Sunday: Resolve that when you make choices that result in your being upset that you will examine them and choose a new response that is not upsetting to you.


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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