Dove with Branch
March 31, 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, Before my mother passed away gave me many of her personal belongings with written instructions on what she wanted me to do with them after she died. She included the request that I not inform anyone about this until after she died. When she passed away and I informed everyone s few were very upset. They were not only upset with her but were upset with me for not informing them. Some will no longer talk to me. Do you think obeying her request was proper in this circumstance? - Glenda in AR


Dear Glenda, Yes of course I think you did the right thing! Your mother has the right to choose in these things and it is appropriate for you to respect her wishes. The reason your relatives are upset is because of their own personal problems of not being able to respect your mother. Stay loving, do not let this upset you and go on with your life knowing you did exactly what your mother wanted and that is what mattered. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I have taken a job on the graveyard shift in a large manufacturing company. I found that I have not been able to adjust to sleeping during the day. I would like to work day shift so that I would be more effective on the job but am afraid to ask. What do you suggest? - Donald in CA


Dear Donald, I suggest you first consider your options and choose the one that you believe will be the most effective in the long run. Unless you can change your habit to get enough sleep then asking to work a different shift seems like an attractive option. Since that is available at your present workplace, it would seem that asking to change is an option that would most likely be attractive to both you and your employer. They would benefit from a more energetic worker on the job and would likely accommodate you. Just be sure that you ask in a positive way so that they will see value both in you and your request. - 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 grow up in our own Society and we are taught pretty clear rules about what is right and what is wrong. We know what we "should expect" from other people, and what they "should expect" from us. When we are growing up, we learn to comply with these rules because others get upset at us and punish us in some way - if only by the way they accept and respond to us. We learn to follow the rules because of the trouble it causes when we don't. We punish others by the way we respond to them when we don't think they are following the rules.


This works fairly well when we live in a homogeneous society where we have all learned the same rules. When we try to apply our rules to others who have different values, we run into problems. When I lived in other countries, I often found that many who visited would become upset because they weren't being treated according to their own rules. "They are wrong; we know the rules and we will correct them!" - was their thinking.


Unfortunately this thinking often carries over to our expectations of what is right or wrong in relationships between countries. We make judgments that they are wrong and must change their behavior. How would you feel if the positions were reversed? We do need some rules about what is right and wrong for all. However they should be created by common agreement, treaty, a world governing body, or some other way we can come to agreement. Dictating how others must act, when we "know" they are wrong only leads to trouble. To live in Peace we must build a path that all societies are willing to walk down.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

It is within the power of each of us to have a life in which we always choose to respond from our positive emotions and no longer experience the negative ones. Not having anger is such a freeing feeling. You never have to go to bed at night trying to figure out how to get even. You no longer have to judge how other people are acting. You just accept the world as it is presented to you. You spend your time thinking about the best way to make it work for you. You are able to focus on making decisions that allow you to fully enjoy life. And you do fully enjoy life.


Just knowing that a life free of fear and anger is available to you once you make the choice to enjoy it; will make you feel better immediately. Choose to take control of your own life. Don't leave it in the hands of anyone who happens to annoy you. Although opportunities to be angry will be offered to you at every turn, you always have the option of refusing to accept them. When you realize that it is your own thinking that has to change, and not other people's behavior, you become capable of making the choice to take control of your anger and your life.


The management of our emotions is subject to the laws of learning, as is everything else we do. Once we learn that a more desirable way to deal with our emotions is available, and we see the value in developing more effective thinking, we are motivated to make the change. Once we learn how to make the change, it is just a matter of doing the work.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I realize that it is my own thinking that upsets me.


Tuesday: I realize that if I change my thinking it is no longer necessary to be upset.


Wednesday: I recognize the value of not becoming upset when things happen.


Thursday: I recognize that I am capable of changing the way I think about things.


Friday: I see the value of no longer becoming upset by things.


Saturday: I choose to take control of my own feelings and not let then be controlled by the actions of others.


Sunday: I resolve that when I become upset I will learn new positive thoughts to replace the upsetting ones.


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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