Dove with Branch
February 9, 2015

Insights From

the Dean of Peace


Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Pacemaker,

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, My husband has informed he has been having an affair and is in love with another woman. I have decided to divorce him and get a new life for myself. Now my husband tells me that he has come to his senses and is pleading for me and the children to take him back. The children want him back and I don't hate him, but I don't want to go through the pain again. For the children's, sake should I consider taking him back? - Teresa in MD


Dear Teresa, You can consider it, but it's not a step I would take easily. If you simply take him back without getting to the root of the problem there is a good chance that the behavior might be repeated. Make it clear to him that the problem that resulted in this behavior must be corrected. Start by having him go to counseling for at least three months. After that the two of you go to couples counseling until you and the counselor agree that you are ready to experience a loving, trusting relationship. Learn to communicate honestly and trust each other before you resume the relationship. If you resume the relationship make regular status checks and resolve problems as they arise. This is much more work to do than simply forgiving, but he must learn a new way of thinking and good intentions are not enough. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My husband thinks it's important what kind of clothing we wear when we are working in an office and representing our family. He says he knows what is best for me and that I must follow his advice. Should I follow his advice for the sake of the marriage? - Norah in AZ


Dear Norah, You get to be the decider of what you wear. Your husband may want to maintain a certain appearance or social status but apparently you have a different vision. You should consider his concerns for the sake of the relationship but you are not required to follow his advice unless you find value in that. We should be aware and make the best choice for ourselves. What our mate wishes should be a part of our consideration, but not necessarily the deciding factor. - 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

Two of the world's most irrational arguments: (1) We can't afford to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions because it would be too costly and reduce our quality of life. If we don't reduce our greenhouse emissions it will reduce our quality of life! This is a little bit like saying we can't afford to raise chickens because there is too big a demand for eggs. If we want to preserve our quality of life then the changes must be made.


(2) We can't afford to stop building weapons of war because we would have to close the factories and people would be out of work. This is like saying we can't stop killing each other because then we would have nothing else to do. The only justification I can see for this argument is that since we are killing each other if we get good at it then perhaps our group will prevail and many of us will survive. When we take this view the world is condemned to continued warfare and killing.


We recognize that war and global warming are threats to our existence. When we make choices that assure that they will continue we are being irrational. When we want something to change we must make choices that create the change instead of choices that prevent the change. These irrational arguments are being made at the highest level of our government. It is my hope that we as a society will recognize their irrationality and lead our government toward more rational choices.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Perception and recognition is the way we have of evaluating the information than comes to us through our five senses and includes the specific way that we interpret that information. Each of us sees life from our own frame of reference. Our differing perceptions are often the source of conflict and anger. If we understand and choose to accept our differences however, our dissimilar perceptions can become a source of wisdom, joy, and humor in our lives.


We tend to perceive information that supports the beliefs we have. First we take note of the information presented to us that validates our belief systems, and we often fail to notice things that do not. Next, we interpret the information that we receive in a way that is consistent with our existing belief system.


What if this wasn't necessarily the case? What if we considered the information in the light of differing belief systems? And what if we always looked at things from a number of points of view before making a decision?


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I appreciate the diversity in humankind.


Tuesday: Today I say only good things.


Wednesday: Today I say "I love you."


Thursday: Today I take time to breathe deeply.


Friday: Today I practice forgiveness.


Saturday: Today I am forgiveness in action.


Sunday: Today I take myself lightly.


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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