Dove with Branch
December 1, 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 husband never listens to what I am saying. If I want an answer have to practically hit him over the head. If there is a football or basketball game on I have to wait until it is over to have any chance of getting his attention. Can you suggest something to help me get his attention? - Robbie in CA


Dear Robbie, At least you are able to get him to listen part of the time. Be thankful for that. You have is a serious problem of timing. He has just as much right to determine the timing as you do. Many people have the idea that if they want to talk, the other person is obligated to listen. He has just as much right to set the timing for a discussion as you do. Talking takes both a sender and a receiver and they both have equal rights. Talk only when he is ready to listen and your discussions will be much more effective, and friendlier. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I have been married four times and my marriages have failed. I have found a wonderful man that I love very much. However, I have found that things change when you marry. I am afraid to try again, I can't stand another failure, but I am lonesome. Should I consider marriage? How can I make sure it would be successful? - Barb in MN


Dear Barb, If you want to consider marriage you should. Can you make sure it is successful? - No. Your first marriages gave you lessons. You can learn from the lessons, or repeat the mistakes. Some of them may have to do with choice, some with expectations, and some with your own behavior. Don't remarry until you have learned new thinking and behavior that will resolve those issues. Don't remarry because of need. Learning to be okay with being alone creates freedom in your 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

It is helpful to think of schools as having three basic functions: 1. To educate the students in the basic skills needed for life (the three R's). 2. To train the students so that they will be able to be productive members of society and to be able to provide for their own support. 3. To learn how to think and be creative so that they and the society can prosper. This third function has been very controversial because the agenda of change and growth is perceived as not in the best self interest of many in our society. However if we are to create a Peaceful New World, this is the area of our education that we must emphasize.


The basic objective of education has been to advance the knowledge of the people. However, this goal is often distorted because self-interest groups within the society are concerned that their particular agenda be advanced. They insist that what is taught in the schools is compatible with their individual group philosophy.


To create change we must learn the skills of creating. If we are taught that the law and our government and society are always right, then what we have today is what we will always have. What change we do experience will be created out of the best interest for a few controlling individuals. When we learn to recognize the positive possibilities of change, then we will be open to, and working for positive change. The student learns from the teacher. We can all be teachers whether we are in the educational system or not. What are we going to teach our children?


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We each have our own unique belief system, which is like a filter that new information passes through before it comes into our awareness. It is an extremely complex system that contains all of the things we have learned in life. These are the beliefs that we have been taught and accepted as true. Our beliefs determine how we think the world works and embody the truths that we hold as self-evident, and accept without question. In order to make meaning out of any new input to our brains, we always compare it to our existing belief system.


Our belief system will always make perfect sense to us - at least until we become troubled by the answers we are getting and begin to re-evaluate them. This system is self-validating because it is "truth" as we "believe" it to be. It is important to understand this if we hope to change the beliefs that trouble us.


Understanding the nature of our belief system and why we hold the beliefs that we do will help us to find the things we believe in that are not working for us; and that we may want to change. It will help us to change to more positive and effective beliefs. Before we change we must recognize that we would like to change. And if we want to change we need to know how to go about it.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I think about how beliefs systems are created.


Tuesday: I think about where the beliefs I believe are important came from.


Wednesday: I think about the beliefs that make my life good.


Thursday: I think about the beliefs that cause me to be upset.


Friday: I think about the beliefs that I would like to change.


Saturday: I decide on new beliefs to replace my old upsetting beliefs.


Sunday: I begin the process of replacing my old upsetting beliefs with the new positive ones.


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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