Dove with Branch
February 10, 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, Dear Dean, My husband's brother lost his job and his home. He came to live with us until he could get back on his feet again. He has been here six months. He doesn't look for work. He doesn't help with the housework. He is often intoxicated. He shouts at our children for making so much noise. We can't throw him out on the street. How can we get him to leave? - Glenda in TX


Dear Glenda, I am assuming he has no family or friends, other than you, who are willing to help. That would be no great surprise. Of course you really could throw him out if you wanted too; but you are a caring person who is willing to help family who are willing to help themselves. If you want to help more, offer counseling and conditions that he must meet in order to stay. If you don't want to invest any more, or need to be free of the negative energy, then set a date for him to leave. You could even find him a room and pay the first month if you can't throw him out. A decision to spend your resources and energy on helping those who will benefit may result in your choosing to help others instead of your brother-in-law. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My husband smokes in the house. Not only does he set a bad example for our children, he stinks up the house. Secondhand smoke is not good for our health. How do we get him to stop smoking? - Tracie in OK


Dear Tracie, Unless he made an agreement with you not to smoke before you married, shouldn't the question be, "How do we get him to stop smoking in the house?" He has a right to smoke. He doesn't have a right to make you expose yourself to it. You could all leave the house; or even the marriage, but hopefully you can find a better solution. If he is unwilling to go outside, or into a certain room alone, you are left with a difficult choice. Look for alternatives until you find the one that works for 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 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 or willing to give in to avoid a fight. 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.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Anything you consider important in a relationship should be discussed and agreed to ahead of time by both of you. When new things come up as your relationship progresses, they should be worked out mutually. You have no right to be upset just because your mate doesn't want to do things your way. Their ideas of what they expect and what they are willing to contribute are just as important as yours are. Expecting them to conform to your notion of how a partner should be, when they haven't agreed to those expectations, and becoming angry when they don't live up to them, is unfair and unreasonable.


It is especially important to pay attention to these issues at the present time because our society is transforming its idea of how we look at the partnering relationship. Traditionally we looked at the relationship as the male provider and the female nurturer. This concept is changing to a new concept of equality where the lines between these roles are no longer clear. If you are expecting the old traditional relationship you need to find a prospective partner who is seeking that kind of relationship as well.


Since the present forms of relationship are still emerging and far more complex in most cases you will need to consider each others expectations. Be open to reaching compromises on many smaller issues before deciding to enter into a long term relationship. Starting out with commitment and then finding out whether it works or not tends to consume much more emotional energy than most of us would like to expend.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about my picture of how a relationship should be.


Tuesday: Today I think about my partners or prospective partner's picture of how a relationship should be.


Wednesday: Today I think about the things that I believe are essential in a relationship.


Thursday: Today I think about the importance of explaining how our relationship should be to my partner.


Friday: Today I resolve to discuss and understand my prospective mate's point of view.


Saturday: Today I decide to resolve differences through negotiation and understanding.


Sunday: Today I resolve to understand my prospective mate's expectations and to resolve any difference from my own before entering into a relationship.


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

phone: 800-359-6015 fax:541-935-9361
Join our mailing list!