Dove with Branch
June 9, 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 came from a large family that was close through several generations and lots of cousins. I am always there for my brothers and sisters, but they don't seem to care about me or my problems. They don't even invite me to their homes on holidays. How can I get them to help me when I need it? - Laura in IL


Dear Laura, Perhaps you can't. They have no obligation to help you just as you have no obligation to help them. If they still feel loving toward you they will most likely help. They may not want your help, at least in the way you offer it. They may feel helpless to help you. If they are not supporting you in the way they do each other then it would do well to find out why they are treating you differently. Ask them in a nice way! If you are giving them support but expecting something in return then you are not "giving" them support. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I often go to the park in the evenings. There is a couple that comes there and argues openly with each other, and they complain about everyone else in the neighborhood, their family and people at work. The problem I have is that they are loud and argumentative and end up calling each other names. I have asked them to please be quiet and others have spoken to them as well but it doesn't seem to make any difference. Do you have any suggestions? - Bruce in GA


Dear Bruce, Find another park? You do have other options. You could let them know nicely that you (and perhaps others) are upset and ask if they would speak more quietly. You might let them know that you (and perhaps others) will be leaving if it continues. You could even offer to drive them to another park. Check to see if they are violating any municipal or park rules and seek enforcement. You always have the option of choosing not to be disturbed by their behavior. - 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

What if we elected politicians whose job was to decide for the best interest of our society as a whole, instead of the people who voted for them? Unless we are among the lucky, powerful or rich ones who win the election we end up the losers in our present way of choosing representatives. This means that most of us end up losers while the system continues to work to the benefit of the strong and the powerful. When we have opportunities to reduce that power by such things as reducing lobbying influence or campaign spending we often fail to take advantage of that opportunity. We have learned to focus on "What's in it for me?"


The concern of the government and of those who govern should be primarily for our society as a whole. If it is not then it becomes divisive and wasteful. We will not have a peaceful and productive society until we focus on what is best for all of us, instead of what is best for us personally.


A good example of this is the desire to keep making weapons of war simply because someone will lose a job if we quit making them. Another good example is the concept many hold that if "Federal Money" is available then we should get it and spend it. We make our judgments based on the availability of the money rather than whether this is the most effective way to spend it. When we do this those who get the money win, and the rest of us lose. This is not a good way to run a society. Let's start electing representatives who are good at deciding for the best interest of all and who at least hold the interests of all that they represent above the dictates of their party.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can accept disagreement without being disagreeable in return. We don't have to require that we be treated well. We can accept the way other people treat us, in the sense that we don't get upset about it. We can assert our boundaries and refuse to accept the other person's position, without getting angry or upset. If we believe in our self and our own truths, then we can let the other person have their own truths, and just refuse to be affected by them.


Do we want to be happy, or do we want to be right? Whenever we are attached to being right, we are convinced the other person is wrong and we are right. As long as we cannot accept the idea that maybe they are also right, or at least realize that it just doesn't matter, we can't be free of our negative emotions or experience happiness and peace of mind. The more we accept the other person's reality as being authentic, the less upset we become.


As we become more accepting, we stop demanding that things go a certain way. It is part of our nature to want to give and receive love. When we demand things be a certain way, we are not giving love, and we seldom receive love in return when we don't give it. We get even less love when we give anger in return.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I allow others to have their beliefs.


Tuesday: Today I take time to relax and enjoy.


Wednesday: Today I am grateful for peacemakers.


Thursday: Today I do the work that is mine to do with a glad heart.


Friday: Today I take time to do a kind deed.


Saturday: Today I tell a co-worker something about them that I appreciate.


Sunday: Today I focus on the positive.


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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