Dove with Branch
November 3, 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, My boyfriend is often inconsiderate of my feelings. He is often late but he gets upset when I am late. He will make fun of the way I dress and the way I wear my hair in front of others, and he knows I am uncomfortable with that. How can I make him change? - Tess in NM


Dear Tess, You can't; unless he wants to. You have to make it clear to him what things he does that are not good for you. If he is interested in learning to do things differently and wants to change then be patient and work with him. Have some patience with him if he is trying. Old habits are sometimes hard to break. You can always just accept his bad manners, but that comes at a high price to a loving relationship. If you don't totally accept the way he is it will be a constant source of stress that will make the relationship less than acceptable to you. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I have a boss who is demanding and abrasive and he has piled so much work on me that I am no longer able to carry on a civil conversation with him. - Fred in CO


Dear Fred, This is a complex question and you must look at many aspects to determine your answer. But let's look at some of the things you need to consider given what you have said. The fact that you can't talk to your boss is your problem not his. If you are going to keep this job you must learn how to stay in a positive relationship with your boss. It will be helpful if you can find ways to get him to change in ways that will make the relationship better for you, but don't count on it. Meeting his needs as best you can in a positive manner will usually go a long way. Not talking to him is not positive and usually adds to the problem by creating negative feelings and a lack of the information you need to do your work as well as dampening your enthusiasm to do it. Start by looking for the reasons you feel fearful or angry about the relationship. - 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

As a people we have embraced the idea of an end to warfare and that we would like to live in peace. As we grow, we are taught certain ideas of how the world is by our society and by those around us - our parents, our teachers, and our friends. We take all of this in and form our own special idea of how the world is. We then form expectations of how things should happen in order to fit with our own special idea of how the world is. When things don't happen that way, when reality doesn't match our idea of what we think should happen we get angry.


We need to realize that our idea of how the world is, is only our ideal world, as we see it, and not the real world at all. If what is happening in the world doesn't conform to your idea of what should be happening, then take it as a clue that your ideal world does not actually match the real world. If you could accept the idea that what is actually happening in the real world is appropriate, then you would have nothing to be angry about.


The ideal world file that we have in our brain just doesn't match the real world. In order to eliminate anger, we need to create a relationship between our ideal world file and the real world file itself so that they are not in actual conflict.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Although every culture's rules are subjective, and different segments of our society may have conflicting rules, anger is often employed against those who go against the rules. We do this in order to coerce them into conforming. And because many of us refuse to accept cultural differences as natural and desirable, national governments often use the anger resulting from such differences to justify war.


Sometimes we get angry because expressing anger is an acceptable attribute in our family of origin. Of course one's family has a huge effect on how one deals with conflict. In some families, fighting is seen as bad. In others, you don't even count unless you can stand up and fight for yourself.


We not only learn our emotional style from our family, we also acquire the unique set of values our family holds. How our anger gets triggered - and how we express it - are closely tied to the lessons we learned as we were growing up. We develop a belief system and then get angry when things don't go according to our beliefs.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about how other peoples' beliefs are different than my own.


Tuesday: I think about how I learned my beliefs as I was growing up.


Wednesday: I picture myself living in different families and learning different beliefs.


Thursday: I picture myself living in other countries and learning different beliefs.


Friday: I picture myself understanding and accepting the beliefs of others.


Saturday: I respect the beliefs of others as appropriate for them.


Sunday: I no longer reject people based on their differences.


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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