Dove with Branch
April 7, 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 always been very attentive to my children's needs. We provide them with the things that most other kids have. We always attend their events. They don't show any appreciation for all that we do. When they want something, they won't take no for an answer. They even scream at us and call us dreadful names. Why is this happening to us? - Laura in OH


Dear Laura, Because you let it happen! You are your child's teacher. They have learned how they can and should act from the lessons that you have taught them. They act the way they do because that kind of behavior works for them. If you want them to be different you must teach them new lessons. It will be more difficult now because they must unlearn the old lessons. It is important for your children to learn to make choices that are in their own long term interest, rather than whatever works at the moment. They need to learn new strategies for dealing with life. And they need to learn them from you. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I provide my daughter with the latest fashions. She sets the trends for the other kids. The problem is that she doesn't seem to appreciate what I do for her. She doesn't keep her clothes clean and will be careless in play and sometimes ruins them. How can I get her to respect what I do for her? - Betty in UT


Dear Betty, The first question you should ask yourself is, "who are you doing this for?" You want your daughter to be a certain way and set an example that she may not care to be. Supporting her to do her thing is helpful but pushing her to do your thing can cause a lot of problems for both of you. I suggest you talk with her and find out what she wants to do and be. Support her in what she wants. We have learned that molding a child to our wishes is not always good for the child. Give her a chance to become her own person - and love her for it. - 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

Let's teach our children a better lesson! Let's teach them that they should consider other viewpoints when making a decision. Because of our exaggerated viewpoint about right and wrong - especially when it comes to political parties - we teach our children to keep telling other people how stupid they are. They learn their lessons from what they see us doing. Is this the example we want to set for them?


When we learn this behavior and talk to those who don't agree, we become entrenched in our positions, and are unable to understand the other person's point of view. No-one is influenced by the others' words and we end up in arguments that sometimes deteriorate into fights. The only way we can enjoy life is to be around others who think like we do - unless of course we truly enjoy being mean spirited and making the lives of others unhappy. We are like spoiled children who must always have our way.


Remember that if we had the same belief that another person had, we would think like they do. They are honest people acting in their own beliefs about what is right and wrong. Learn to respect the other person's point of view, and pass that lesson on to your children. Others will listen to us when they realize that we respect them for who they are. It is an important lesson to learn. Until the people of the world learn this lesson we will not live together in peace. If we work together, we can learn to come up with positive solutions that will work better for all of us. When we vilify those who disagree we will not find peace.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We tend to make ourselves the victims of our own thinking. We grow up expecting certain things out of life, and when they don't happen we feel cheated. When something bad happens we tend to say, "What did I ever do to deserve this?" We find it difficult to accept what happened, because we are tied up in our own expectations and attachments.


We put ourselves in the victim role whenever we deny that the feeling of being a victim actually originates in our own mind. If you find yourself thinking in terms of "How can I possibly cope with this situation?" You are admitting that you are a victim. Thinking about how you can just get by is victim thinking.


Instead we need to think in terms of, "I am in control here," "I am the boss of my life." Until you take over control of your life in every way, you are making yourself a victim. Taking control of your life, means that you are the one who makes the choices about your own life, based on your independent needs and thinking.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about the things in my life that I feel are out of my control.


Tuesday: I think about why things are out of control.


Wednesday: I think about the beliefs I have, that allow things to be out of control.


Thursday: I think about new choices I can make to take control of my life.


Friday: Today I take one thing in my life that has been out of control and bring it under control.


Saturday: Today I think about the decisions I must make, in order to take control of my life.


Sunday: I resolve that I am the boss of my life.


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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