Dove with Branch
October 20, 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 am now retired and now no longer work outside of the home. To my surprise I have learned that my wife never does the breakfast dishes until after lunch. The mess in the sink looks terrible and makes it difficult to fix a snack. How can I get her to quit leaving dirty dishes in the sink during the day? - Bruce in MO


Dear Bruce, You can suggest doing something that she wants done in return for her doing the dishes. Better yet, do the dishes for her in trade for some other chore. Best of all, why don't you just do the dishes in a cheerful way and ask her if there are any more to do while you are at it? The dishes in the sink are a problem for you, but apparently not for her. Complaining and demanding others do things your way are not positive ways to solve problems. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I want to use the bridal gown from my first marriage for my new marriage. My fiancée is happy with that but my mother, and my best friend say it would be improper because it represents my first marriage and because white is no longer appropriate. Would it be appropriate to wear it when others close to me think it is not. - Tiffany in IN


Dear Tiffany, Is this wedding for the couple or for their friends, would be the question. Only you and your intended can answer that. If it is important to you that you wear it, then why not wear it; unless of course your friend's opinions are more important to you than your own. You have valued relationships with each of those people. You should make your own decisions based on your own beliefs. Consider their requests, but make a decision based on what's right for you and your fiancée. You do not need to honor old traditions. You should however be considerate of the concerns of our friends. If you decide not to take their advice tell them why in a loving way. - 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

It is a part of our nature to be violent. It is also a part of our nature to be angry, fearful, controlling, cheating, greedy, and all those things we associate with the unpleasant world that many of us see ourselves as living in. On the other hand it is also a part of our nature to be loving, caring, peaceful, sharing and joyful. We humans have the free will to be whichever of these things we choose to be at any given moment. In any given instance we always choose whichever of these things that our beliefs tell us we should choose. We choose what we do because we learn and believe that it is what we should do. We get angry simply because we should get angry in a certain situation. If we had learned to look at this same event or circumstances differently, we would have responded differently.


What if instead of judging each event by how we believe it should be, we change to judging it by the results it produces? If we look at things this way, then when things don't turn out the way we want we are not left with a feeling of being violated! Instead we would spend our energy looking for a new way to respond to the event that is in line with our greater goal of living peacefully and in harmony with others.


This is something that will not happen overnight, but can be and must be learned if we are to live in a peaceful world. The system of trying to make us all think and act the same has been tried and failed. This new way of thinking is the hope we have of making life joyful for all.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

As we become more accepting, we stop demanding that things go a certain way. It is part of our nature to give and to receive love. When we demand things in a certain way, we are not giving love, and we seldom get love in return when we do.


Accept that there are many vantage points from which to look at the same thing. You can change your way of looking at things to a way that is in line with happiness. The choice is yours.


Perhaps you're saying to yourself, "He is the one who makes me angry. I need to get him to change." This attitude is guaranteed to produce anger. If you can't accept your mate or your colleague or your child the way he or she is, your relationship is not going to be a happy one. There is something we must do in order to have a rewarding relationship. Choose to let go of every goal where your peace of mind depends on other people changing. Learn to think, "I love you just the way you are."


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I choose to be accepting of the thinking and ways of others.


Tuesday: I understand that the beliefs of others are different from my own.


Wednesday: I realize that if I want others to like me I must like them.


Thursday: I realize that every problem has many positive solutions.


Friday: I desire happiness in my relationship with others.


Saturday: I offer happiness to others by respecting their beliefs.


Sunday: Think, "I love you just the way you are".


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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