Dove with Branch
February 2, 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, My 18 year old daughter went through a very rough time over 3 years ago. She had a boyfriend that made her miserable, suicidal, untrustworthy, angry all the time and she was with him. They broke up when he cheated on her and slowly she pulled herself back together and had been happy, stable and trustworthy. Lately she is getting angry about small things and has begun going downhill in her school work. She overdosed on medication recently. Recently I found her camera with many of pictures of her ex-boyfriend. She is back with him and behaving the same way she did then. How can I get her to see that this relationship she has with this boy is not healthy? He is a drug user and manipulates my daughter and ruins her self esteem. I just want her to have a happy healthy future. - Sheryl in CO


Dear Sheryl, You are at a place where you should seek professional help and consider a support group for yourself. Be supportive of your daughter. Don't criticize her for her behavior. She already knows she has a problem. Work with her to solve the problem. sit down with your supervisor to resolve the matter. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My son is starting to fail in his school work and is hanging out with kids who are troublemakers and into drugs. What do you suggest? - Art in IL


Dear Art, Again, don't criticize. Take the time to get him to open up and tell you what the problems are. Ask lots of questions and give few suggestions. Let him know you are there to help. Guide him to find why what he is doing is not the best course to follow. - 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

The idea that we think it is okay to fight wars to further the interest of our country goes hand in hand with the idea that we should use the death penalty as punishment in our legal system. What we want to happen more than anything else when a crime is committed is that it never be committed again. We think that punishment will be effective and they deserve the death penalty, "an eye for an eye." How effective has that been for us? Not very!


I suggest we focus more on preventing the crime from first happening, and then recurring, and we will be more successful in preventing murder. If it is okay for the state to use death for punishment then we look at death as appropriate punishment and are far more apt to feel justified in administering the punishment of death personally. Because the state is not there at the moment we feel justified in administering the punishment personally. We do this for example, when we kill someone in defense of our property. We even extend this on occasion to when someone has done something to make us angry.


Since we have given the state the power to administer death as punishment, we are able to accept the concept that when the state does not have its way in the world that it has the right to administer death to its adversaries by waging war. If murder is wrong then the death penalty and war are wrong because they are just "murder by the state." If we want to live peacefully in the world with other nations, and other people we must give up the idea that we can kill them when they displease us.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World 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 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 the world is or what we think it should be; we get fearful or angry.


We need to realize that our idea of how the "world is," is only our ideal world, as we see it, 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 happening in the real world is appropriate for the present state of the world, then you would have nothing to be angry about.


To change the world we start by accepting it as it is. It is a little bit like buying an old house and then fixing it up to make it our dream home. We start by accepting it for what it is now. We then go to work making it what we want it to be, and keep at it until the change is complete.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about something that a neighbor or associate does that upsets you and ask yourself why you are upset.


Tuesday: Think about this problem in relation to the bigger issue of living together in peace.


Wednesday: Think about the problem from your neighbor or associate's point of view.


Thursday: Consider possible positive solutions to the problem.


Friday: Look for a way to solve this problem to both you and your neighbor or associate's satisfaction.


Saturday: Choose the solution that you think will be the most effective.


Sunday: Implement the solution you have chosen.


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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