Dove with Branch
August 4, 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 like to wear sports shirts with a tie and jeans. My wife and co-workers and even my friends will make fun of me and say that I am not taken seriously when I dress this way. I believe I should wear what I like, but I am upset by the criticism. What should I do? - Barney in IL


Dear Barney, You have choices. You can wear what is expected, or you can learn not to be disturbed by their comments. The answer that may be the best in the long run, but may seem the most difficult at first is to not be upset by their comments. This is something you can learn to do that may pay great rewards in other areas of your life as well. We are happier when we are controlled by our own thinking, instead of the opinion of others. Trust yourself. Love yourself and allow others to express opinions different than your own without being disturbed by them. - the Dean


Dear Dean, No matter how I feel I always present a cheery face at work. However co-workers often don't respond in a similar manner and this upsets me very much. How do you suggest I handle this? - Vanessa in CA


Dear Vanessa, It is wonderful that you give your gift of cheer. But give it freely. Don't expect that others must accept it, or owe you anything in return. A gift is to be offered without strings. You offered it to make the world better. Don't demand in your own mind that your gift must be returned, or even accepted by the other person. Allow them to be the way they want to be. - 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

Periodically I write about how we should make our political and social decisions with a consideration of all points of view. In our government we have a two party system with majority party rule. When the parties are more evenly divided; or in a spirit of cooperation, we talk about using a bipartisanship approach. The bipartisanship approach however considers only the views of the two parties. I believe we should develop the transpartisanship approach to government. Transpartisanship recognizes the existence and validity of many points of view. It advocates a constructive dialogue aimed at considering all points of view and arriving at solutions that meet the needs of everyone.


Transpartisanship is being increasingly employed by companies, universities, non-profit, and citizen groups for finding resolution to problems. If we are going to be an inclusive society that lives together in peace, we would benefit greatly if we would employ this concept at all levels of government. We can benefit from this concept in politics, culture, economics and other aspects of our society as well.


We can learn to share all viewpoints openly and honestly. Disagreements over issues need not undermine consensus if all parties are willing to search for an answer that accommodates all points of view. We will be able to find previously unanticipated solutions that can satisfy everyone.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Is your response always appropriate to the present situation - or do you sometimes simply go on "automatic pilot" and use a response that you had used in the past? For instance, wouldn't it be better to leave the dishes on the table, or put them into the sink yourself, than to get mad at your mate for not doing it? Wouldn't it have gone better with the boss if you had said to him that you would like to help but had already made other plans that were too important to be changed?


Perception is not a fact. It is a mirror of our thoughts. No two people see the world the same. Learn to observe yourself to find out how you see the world. Try to see how your problems overlap each other and are interrelated to your other problems as well as the problems of others. Try to see how your way of looking at things always agrees with your entrenched beliefs. Try to see how the way you think causes problems for you.


Especially pay attention to how you are feeling. "Emotional awareness" is being aware of what feelings are actually occurring in your body. Try to be more aware of you emotions and note how they make you feel. See if your responses are in line with the way you think and act when you are not feeling the emotion. Just the act of observing your emotions can take away some of the emotional charge.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I learn to take a moment to think and make a conscious choice before I respond.


Tuesday: I look at my responses to see if the response I have chosen is the best possible choice.


Wednesday: Today I examine why I sometimes become upset by the action of other people.


Thursday: I examine other ways of thinking about the things that upset me.


Friday: I pay attention to the way I feel when I become upset. I examine the thoughts that result while I am upset.


Saturday: I notice how much better I feel when I examine the reasons for being upset.


Sunday: I immediately remove each thing that upsets me from my thoughts.


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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