Dove with Branch
November 24, 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 a young grandmother. Cynthia has been my best friend since fourth grade. We have gone out to dinner every Friday night since we graduated from high school. Nothing has changed except that she has new friends and she wants to join their Friday night bowling league. She wants to have lunch on Thursdays instead. I am free then but I don't think I should have to give up my Friday dinner as our friendship has priority and seniority. - Trish in CA


Dear Trish, Even though humans are social animals all of our adult relationships should be voluntary. If someone wants a relationship to be a certain way they should be free to be that way (within the law). We can't control what others do. When we demand them to be a certain way we just set ourselves up for disappointment. Your choice is to accept the changes. Come up with an alternative that works, or end the relationship. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My daughter has married a man who doesn't provide for their family. He is unable to hold a job. She works full time and still has to do all the housework. My daughter does everything and never complains. I no longer want this no-good in my home but my daughter won't come if he is not invited. What should I do about this? - Lisa in CO


Dear Lisa, Invite the whole family to your home on appropriate occasions. Visit your daughter (and the children) at her home and elsewhere when you can. If your daughter loves this man you must accept him to continue a loving relationship with your daughter. You do not have to love him but accept him as what he is; the man your daughter loves. Allow your daughter to make her own choices and accept them. If she is happy with her choice don't try to make her unhappy. - 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

I have been reflecting on a difficult question this week. It is; when we are an activist seeking positive solutions for creating peace how do we work with and identify with those who are seeking peace by resisting all of the violence in the world? When I seek change only by searching for positive solutions and not simply by resisting what I think is wrong, how do I interact with those who are seeking change through resistance to what is?


The answer, I think; is contained in the fact that we are all in this life together. And that includes those who are using violence to achieve their objectives. Human society has a universal interest in maximizing our life experience. Since we are in this experience together, we should all be talking to each other all of the time, no matter what the circumstances.


We should state our truth and the reasons for it clearly, and listen openly and respectfully to the truth of others. We need to remember they have as much right to their truth as we have to ours. We should always respond in a loving way and be willing to accept the consensus decision of the group, even if we don't agree with it. We may continue to work for change by getting others to understand the value of the position we hold in a positive way. Let's all stand together whether we agree with each other or not! Since we will never all agree, the only way to have peace is to agree to disagree and accept the other person's point of view as valid him. Remember that what everyone wants most in the world is to be loved - to be accepted as a good and loving person!


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Learn to embrace change. Your life hasn't been perfect. You can make it better by letting go of old attachments so that you can pursue more desirable goals. When something doesn't work the way you want it to and you can't change it, concentrate on replacing it with something new. Think of what you want in its place. This focus on the new positive goal is helpful in letting go of the old negative attachment.


You may also find it helpful at this point to focus on the knowledge that you are now open to new opportunities. This is the time that you can choose something new in your life. You want your life to be better? Choose something that will make it so. You may even find that it is time to train for a new career, or make new friends.


Just know that all negative attachments can be released, if and when you are up to doing so. If you have difficulty letting go don't give up. It just is a signal that you have more to learn and need to pay more attention. Books, counselors and friends are available to help you find the answers. Happiness is always an available



Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things in your life that upset you.


Tuesday: Think about how your life would feel if everything was they way you wanted it to be.


Wednesday: Select the most important change you want to make in your life.


Thursday: Think about how your life will be when you make this change.


Friday: Determine what you must learn in order to make this change.


Saturday: Today begin the steps necessary for change.


Sunday: Today dedicate yourself to enjoying the process of change.


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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