Dove with Branch
January 26, 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, I work for a manufacturing company. There is a co-worker that is always telling sexual jokes in my presence. I don't want to cause any problems for him, but I want him to stop the jokes. I have told him to please stop. He just thinks it's funny and continues. How can I get him to stop without getting him angry with me? - Virginia in CA


Dear Virginia, Apparently he hasn't really heard your message. Improve the telling and find a way to improve his listening. Be friendly but assertive. Let him know that "dirty jokes" are not okay with you. Tell him you value his friendship. Let him know that they are really hurtful and that not telling them is an essential part of your friendship. Ask him to do it as a personal favor, make the problem yours and not his and perhaps he will be more caring. If he cares he will be more helpful. If this doesn't work consider taking a more assertive approach and have the two of you sit down with your supervisor to resolve the matter. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I don't allow anyone to wear shoes in the house. My children often forget about this rule. They play in the yard and get dirty and then track dirt into the house and they allow their friends to wear shoes even when they take their own off. I keep telling them but they never pay attention. What should I do? - MaryAnn in DE


Dear MaryAnn, It seems to me that you have a bigger problem than dirt. You need to find a way to get your children to pay attention to the rules. Explain the rule, the reason for the rule, and what the consequences are. Then when the rule is violated, lovingly enforce the consequences without fail. I suggest that you include cleaning up the mess as part of the consequences. Empty threats and displays of anger are generally not effective and tend to create negativity in your relationship with your child. - 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

When we are growing up we are taught a belief system (way of thinking) by our parents, teachers, friends, government, etc. We then form opinions that differ slightly from our "lessons" because of our own individual personality. In other words, we believe and think the way we do because of the circumstances of our birth and environment.


The strange thing is that even when we know this is how our beliefs are formed we will still look at these beliefs we hold as the only right way of doing things. More importantly, we think that when other people do believe or do things differently that they are wrong. I believe the problem comes from the belief that many have that our beliefs are truth and should be defended regardless of the arguments against them, even if they are producing unpleasant results in our life.


If we would recognize that a peaceful and enjoyable life is a desirable goal we would have a standard that would allow us to reevaluate our own personal beliefs, and change those that are not producing the best results in our life. Much of the pain and suffering we have in this life comes from the idea that we must follow our beliefs, and that we have no other positive choice. Be willing to give up old beliefs that don't serve you well in order to increase your quality of life. Any time you feel upset it is good to reevaluate the belief that causes you to feel that way.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Never think that you have the right to decide for your partner what is right or what they should do. This means you are attempting to assume a position of power over them. If you assume that power, your relationship is no longer an equal one. Also the other person usually will not willingly accept your control. They are likely to become angry and unhappy with the relationship in some way.


Intimacy with your mate requires that you respect and appreciate them for the person that they are. If you do, it will be easier to deepen your friendship and love. If you don't respect your partner, focus on learning to respect them, because it is essential to the relationship.


Focus your attention on the things that make your mate special and that attracted you to them initially. Always, always appreciate that. Often, and with enthusiasm, tell your mate how much you love and appreciate them. Doing this can prevent and dissolve a lot of anger.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about the things in your relationship that you and your spouse disagree about.


Tuesday: Think about the things that your spouse does that upset you.


Wednesday: Think about the ways you try to control the relationship.


Thursday: Think about the ways your spouse tries to control the relationship.


Friday: Accept your spouse's right to act differently than you would like her to do.


Saturday: Accept your spouse's right to disagree with you.


Sunday: Discuss your differences with your spouse.


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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