Dove with Branch
March 03, 2014 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 stressful job and a long difficult commute. When I get home I am tired and stressed out. My family wants my attention but I am in need of some quiet time. They seem to forget that my job is essential if they are going to have all the things that they want in life. How can I get them to respect my need for quiet time when I get home? - Kenneth in NJ


Dear Kenneth, You explain your need to them in such a way that they will be able understand and respect it. They will wait another 30 minutes if they know you will be giving them your attention. I suggest before you do that you look at other aspects of this. The stress and tiredness from your job are self-induced, and for your own sake you would do well to change that. Being stressed means you haven't learned how to make effective emotional choices. When you are stressed you model stress and upset for your children. Maybe you will find getting rid of the stress more helpful. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My husband works in a dead-end job with not enough pay to provide an adequate standard of living. I am driving a ten year old car to take my kids to activities. My kids don't have the money to hang out at the mall with their friends. It is embarrassing! I tell him to get a promotion or find another job, but he is happy where he is. He says he wants to be able to enjoy the children as they grow up and this job allows him to do that. How can I motivate him to find a better job? - Susan in TX


Dear Susan, Threaten to leave him? But I wouldn't recommend that. Try considering yourself lucky to have a husband who loves his family. Try reassessing your values. You have enough to satisfy everything but your ego. If you can't find a way to be happy with what your husband is providing then find work that will provide the extra self-esteem that you need. - 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 see freedom as the right to do as we please without interference from others. We have the right to become more educated, choose our religious faith, and our form of government. We also have the right to know what is right and to fight for our causes. The problem with this concept of freedom is that it does not take into consideration the freedom of others. If they do not agree with our "right causes," then we think they are wrong and must be corrected or submit to our will.


We need to expand our idea of freedom to include the right of freedom for other people. They have the same right to have causes and beliefs that are different than our own just as we differ from them. We need to consider the right of other people to be free as important as our own right to be free!


Once we see freedom as something we create together we see the necessity of understanding the other person's point of view instead of treating it as wrong. We don't consider others just to be fair. We do so in our own self interest. When we realize our freedom depends on our ability to understand the thinking of others we will pay more attention to and be more accepting of what you say and do. To not accept the belief of others as appropriate can make life most difficult for us.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

In dealing with others, the best rule is to start from a place of trust, realizing and accepting that you could be wrong. People tend to respond to you in the same way that you act. You will receive more trust if you offer trust. If you offer distrust, then that is what you usually get back.


If you want to be free of negative emotions, you will need to choose trust. It is well worth the risk of a few disappointments because the only way you are going to find many rewarding relationship is to give them a chance. In order to find rewarding relationships you have to offer trust and see how it works out. If you don't get trust back, well it was going to happen sooner or later, and you have done your best. This is just one of those things in life that we need to takes risks on if we are going to have a rewarding life.


But remember it is a calculated risk that, while you have some failures, is the only way to get the big rewards. One of my personal rules is that I would much rather trust someone and end up being wrong than to not trust them and be wrong. When we trust we create the possibility of something really good happening. When we don't trust we are shut down and even though we may prevent a possible grief - we have not created a possibility for something good to happen.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how the people you trust treat you.


Tuesday: Think about how the people you don't trust treat you.


Wednesday: Ask yourself if those you distrust might respond differently if you trusted them.


Thursday: Think about the opportunities you miss in life simply because you don't trust.


Friday: Realize that nothing good can happen unless you trust others.


Saturday: We willing to accept a few failures in order to achieve more and better relationships.


Sunday: Resolve to offer trust so that you can receive trust.


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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