Dove with Branch
March 24, 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 problem at work. People will never tell me the truth, even if it is important for me to know so that I can make the right decision. For example I need to know about our orders so I can determine how much material to buy. This upsets me and affects my performance. How can I get them to give me the correct figures? - David in IL


Dear David, Have a meeting and talk about it. Explain your need and learn about their problems. If you are not getting the right answers learn to interpolate. The most important thing is to not let yourself become upset by this problem. If it is out of your control accept it as something you need to become skilled in working with. - the Dean


Dear Dean, The people I work with are a very aggressive group! I am not aggressive and don't need to be as what I do in my job is primarily to support them. The problem is that they are always taking advantage of me. They ask me to do much of the work they should be doing, and then are rude if it's not done the way they think it should be done. If I suggest they should do it themselves they just get angry and complain that I am rude and lazy. How should I deal with this? - Connie in WA


Dear Connie, Helping people is great if that is your job, or if you like doing that. If however it is upsetting you then you have a problem of dealing with the power issues of your fellow employees. Since this is extra work you have a choice of not doing it. If you like doing it then require that they appreciate and don't complain about it. Since you can choose not doing it don't feel you must and don't be upset when someone asks, or when you tell them "sorry I can't help today." - 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 live together in peace we require some sort of rules governing our conduct so we know what is expected of ourselves, and others. We do this when we pass the laws of our city, county, state and national governments. Without those laws and our acceptance of them we would have anarchy. In our country those laws are based on the will of the majority, and the rights of the individual.


A problem often arises because we don't fully accept this system. If we don't like a particular law we resist, or ignore it. When new enforcement measures are instituted we support them if we like the law, and resist them if we don't. When we don't like the law, we resist the idea of using new technology to catch violators.


For example we supported the use of DNA testing because it caught murders and rapists. We all agreed that they were bad and the law was good. They are now introducing new laser technology to measure the distance between cars to enforce the tailgating laws. Tailgating is a serious problem. It causes unnecessary death on the highway. Preventing tailgating saves lives! Just because we have a bad habit of violating the law doesn't mean we should resist its enforcement. When we determine the law has value let's support its enforcement. If you don't care about your own protection that is one thing, but this law is there for the protection of your neighbors and friends. If you care for them you won't resist enforcement.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

When you communicate with someone who may be holding onto a lot of anger, the best way to deal with him or her is to show a genuine interest in them as a person and in the way that they view life. You'll likely find that when you communicate in this way, their defenses will drop and their hearts will open. Your authentic concern is a powerful diffuser of anger. You can learn how to show concern without validating their fear or anger.


Another very important aspect of communication that we often neglect is to understand the meaning that the other person has for the words they choose. I often find this a problem in doing workshops. I use a word one way and the listeners apply their own meaning to the word which is different from what I intended. This means that I haven't really communicated very well at all. When the response you get is not what you expect make sure that you and the other person really understand the same meaning for all of the words.


Always be vigilant that you both are using the same meaning for words. Realize that you often are not. Try to define or choose your words more precisely when ambiguity is possible. Always be receptive of the other person's definition of a word as appropriate; because it is for them. This is one issue that my wife and I have to pay very close attention to because we find we are often understanding something differently than what the other one is trying to say to us.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about how I can make friends just by being interested in other peoples concerns.


Tuesday: Let other people know you are interested in them by asking them to share theirs concerns with you.


Wednesday: If you are not sure of the meaning another person has to their words ask before you make an assumption.


Thursday: When the answer you get is not what you are expecting check to see what the other person thought you said and what they meant by the words they used.


Friday: Today I concentrate on avoiding ambiguity in my words.


Saturday: Today I learn to ask when I am not certain that I understand the meaning of what the other person is saying.


Sunday: I resolve that when I am disturbed by another person's words I will always seek clarity before responding.


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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