Dove with Branch
January 20, 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 am a mature high school teacher in Ohio. My age is my business. When my students ask me my age I try to joke with them, but they keep pressing for an answer. How can I get them to stop asking? - Constance in OH


Dear Constance, Stop caring! Why should you want to hide your age? It is something to be proud about, not ashamed of. If you don't want to answer the question that is fine, but they have the right to ask the question, unless you tell them it is a question they may not ask in your class. The fact you are sensitive about your age is your problem; not theirs. Examine why you have this problem. If you are upset by such a simple request you have an issue it would be helpful to pay attention to. - the Dean


Dear Dean, People often insult me by saying I am so short the sun shining off the top of my head blinds them. I am sensitive to my height or lack thereof, and to my bald spot. I do not like being reminded about either. How should I respond so that people will stop teasing me about it? - Ken in MO


Dear Ken, Accept their comments with a smile. It would be good to laugh with them if you can learn to laugh at yourself. The fact you are shorter than other people should be no reason to depreciate yourself and many men get bald, even me. We can't enjoy life in this world until we learn to accept things as they are. Neither shortness nor baldness are real qualities of personal worth. Give up the idea that they are. What other people think of you is their business and not yours. Give up the idea that you obtain your value from what they think of you. - 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 worry about things like swine flu, a threat that kills very few, more than we do about the common flue which kills about a quarter of a million people a year. Threats that are new, sudden, and more dramatic trouble us much more than those we have grown up with, and learned to accept. We are a little like the frog we can boil without it noticing if we turn up the heat very slowly.


How can we learn to evaluate the threat instead of the fear? I call this "keeping things in perspective." We need to stop when we are upset by something that is happening, or we fear will happen, and compare it with the other dangers and fears in our lives. Always ask yourself the question, "How important is this anyway?" Whenever you feel caught up in the drama of what is happening, or are upset with what is happening around you, stop and ask yourself that question.


When we learn to keep things in perspective it allows us to be more accepting of our world, and what is happening in it. If we ask what we can do about something, and the answer is nothing, then learn to let go of the worry associated with it. When you choose to worry when you can do nothing or choose to do nothing, the only thing you accomplish is making yourself upset.


Column 3 - Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We say we would like to have peace, but it never happens. It is always the "other persons fault." There seems to be an unlimited supply of "other persons" in the world, and perhaps we are sometimes one of them ourselves. Why do we always get angry and blame the other guy when things don't go our way? It is because we think they are wrong and we are right. Isn't it possible we are both right; and both wrong when we get angry?


If we are to have peace we must learn to stop getting angry at other people. When we get angry at others we quit treating them with respect. We are no longer caring, or even open to why they think the way that they do. When we are angry we have the idea that they must do it our way, or we will make them do it. We think they are bad and should be punished. We judge them by our customs when they have been living by theirs.


We are willing to impose our power, even to the death if need be, to make them do it our way. We may be able to do this without resorting to war because they are weak. We may be happy for the moment because we have things our way. But instead of solving the problem it only sets us up for more conflict in the future. We have made an enemy that we didn't need to make! When we listen to others, understand their differences, and seek resolution we can create a peace that will be lasting.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I realize that my life is not controlled by what other people think of me.


Tuesday: If I make an honest mistake I do not feel shame.


Wednesday: I do not need to control what other people do.


Thursday: I do not blame others for their honest mistakes.


Friday: I do not try to control others by making them ashamed.


Saturday: Others are not obligated to me simply because they made an honest mistake.


Sunday: I give up the need to always be right.


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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