Dove with Branch
April 21, 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 find my work to be very unpleasant. The biggest problem is that the manager never thinks my work is good enough for her. Whatever I do is never good enough for her. How can I get her to stop criticizing my work? - LeAnne in MI


Dear LeAnne, Your manager's answer would be to make it absolutely perfect by her standard. It is obvious that her standard would be impossible to achieve. What she wants is to get better results by motivating you through fear, and it is not working for her. Your reaction to her has the results of reducing your effectiveness. You are upset by her criticism because you choose to view it that way. You can choose to view her criticism as just her way and not be upset by it, or you can choose to find other work - among your options. Realize that it is not the ways she is but it is the way you are reacting that is the problem and find a solution that will work for you. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My father does not respect me. Whatever I do is never good enough for him. Even when I follow his advice he is never satisfied. Whatever I do or say I am asked to do better. He has never said I did a good job even one time. I have spoken to him and my mother about this, but it doesn't change even though they know how I feel. - Ben in NJ


Dear Ben, If your father didn't respect you he wouldn't be taking so much effort to "improve" you. He is doing it in the best way he knows how. Find a way to gently let your father know it isn't working. Let him know you want to create a good life for yourself and that it would be more effective for you if he could learn to give you advice in a more positive way. Let him know you love him and thank him for trying to help 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 listen to the news of what is going on in the world. We read the newspaper and get more of the same. We study history and see that this "man's inhumanity to man" has been going on forever, and it continues today. It is easy to draw the conclusion that this is our destiny. History will continue to repeat itself. That this is the human condition is an easy conclusion to draw.


If we look closely however, we see many reasons for hope. We have the desire to change. We have the capacity to learn. We have learned many lessons from our past mistakes. We now have more democratic governments than we did before. We still have too many wars, but they are more about freedom and less about conquest. Almost everyone is becoming educated to some level. We are learning how to make better choices for ourselves. We are learning to produce a higher quality of life for most people.


As more of us recognize the value of love, we move from that place of personal greed to caring for others. We do this because we realize it makes our own life better. We still act in our own self-interest. It is however an enlightened self-interest recognizing that ultimately we cannot be happy by harming others; and that this is an abundant world with plenty for all, when we learn to share. Perhaps the most important lesson is that sharing is good because it produces abundance and it produces love.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If you don't want to be angry at the world and what is happening in the world, then you need to make your world one of preferences. You can think: "This is the way I would like the world to be." And, "I will work to make the world the way I want it to be." And, "I enjoy doing this, this is my bliss, this is my way to change the world."


On the other hand, you could choose to carry a heavy negative charge on your emotions by thinking, "If the world isn't the way I want it to be, it is wrong." One of the keys to erasing anger from your life is, to delete the "musts" in your picture of the world. Be ready to accept the world for what it is. You can work to change the world when you are in disagreement with it, but accept it as it is for now.


Think of it as a world that you have a chance to improve, because you have a wonderful vision about how it could and should be. If you choose as your bliss working to make the world a better place, you will be better equipped to succeed by having a greater understanding of both yourself and the world.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I think about other people in the world, and why they think differently than I do. I try to put myself in their shoes.


Tuesday: I accept the idea that it is okay for others to have different values than I do.


Wednesday: Today I think about the things in the world that I would like to be different.


Thursday: Today I think about which of the things in the world that I want to become involved in changing.


Friday: Today I select the things in the world that I am going to work to change.


Saturday: Today I think about what I must learn in order help create meaningful change.


Sunday: Today I become involved in creating meaningful change in my world.


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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