Dove with Branch
January 19, 2015

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, We have two wonderful children. They are very active in school and community activities. My wife is busy taking them to practice and doing all the other things necessary to support them. She says she is so busy with the kids that she never has time to do the housekeeping. We entertain guests at home often because of my business and we need our home to look nice. How can I make her realize the importance of this so that she has the house looking nice when company arrives? - Tom in CA


Dear Tom, You are not the boss. You shouldn't be making your wife understand anything. You have a need for a clean house. There are four of you who can each clean all or part of it. You have many solutions besides requiring your wife to do it. I am sure she already understands your need for a clean house. I suggest you find a positive way for her to be able to accomplish this or find another way to get it done. Anyone can clean the house only your wife is available to be a loving mother. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I have retired and I am at home during the day. I find my wife never does the breakfast dishes until just before she starts dinner. The sink looks like a mess and makes it difficult to fix a snack. How can I get her to clean it up? - Herb in TX


Dear Herb, 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. You could just do the dishes in a cheerful way and ask her if there are any more to do while you are at it? You could even decide that leaving dirty dishes in the sink is acceptable. The dishes in the sink are a problem for you, but apparently not for her. Complaining and demanding that others do things your way are not positive problem solving skills. - the Dean


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Law, Politics & Society ... As I see them
  Globe Magnify Glass

If we kill someone we are guilty of murder. If we kill ten people we are a serial killer. If we kill thirty-three people we are guilty of a horrendous crime. The leaders of the world all recognize this and still when it comes to the greatest crime of all - waging war on another country - they praise it as a necessary tool to achieve our objectives. They even do it just to create democracy in another country.


They do not seem to recognize it as wrong, for they promote it as in the best interests of our own country. When our rulers see a perceived wrong (according to our interests or viewpoint) they are willing to use war as a tool to achieve their objectives. Those who recognize a small crime as such but do not recognize the wickedness of the greatest crime of all - the waging of war on another country - and instead praise it - cannot recognize the difference between right and wrong.


Perhaps we still need to recognize the right of self-defense, but that does not include the right to use war to achieve our political aims. It is time we give up the need to have it our way and accept the role of the world court and world government as a means of settling our differences with other nations, just as the individual states in our nation look to the federal government. This system has worked well for us. It could work for the whole world.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We use anger in disciplining our children because we become upset at what they do, and we then become angry. We then tend to mix our anger in with the lessons we are trying to teach the child. But when we mix the "lesson" with the anger, we end up teaching the child it is okay to respond with anger. As parents we often don't even realize that we are using anger. So the first step in dealing with your anger as a parent is to become aware of how you feel when you relate to your children.


When we respond out of love, the child learns love. If we are free of anger, we teach children love, not anger. We give them a life of positive feelings. Just knowing that we can raise our child without anger should be reason enough for us to put forth the effort to get rid of our own anger.


Learn to talk about feelings with your children. Find out what upsets them and why. Find out why they feel the way they do. Work with them to solve the problems and to release their anger. Even though their friends display anger, they can learn from you that they don't need to use it themselves. Teach them that they can be far more effective, and accomplish more as a person, if they are not controlled by anger.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: I will pay attention to when I experience anger in relating to my children.


Tuesday: I understand that I am my children's teacher.


Wednesday: I understand that my children have learned their lessons in life from me.


Thursday: If my children make a mistake it is because they have not yet learned how to deal with a particular issue.


Friday: When my children make a poor choice I lovingly teach them how to make a better one.


Saturday: I accept my children's failures and appreciate their successes.


Sunday: The life my children experience will reflect my success as a teacher and a parent.


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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