Dove with Branch
February 23, 2015

Insights From

the Dean of Peace


Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peacemaer,

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, In regard to your advice about accept it change it or leave it I want to ask you what I can do about my work situation to make it okay. I need the work to feed my family and the situation at work is always very angry and tense. I come home each night upset and end up fighting with my family. How can I change this? - Teresa in MN


Dear Teresa, You always have the three choices, plus the fourth choice to suffer if you don't find a positive choice. You can leave, but it may take some advance planning and maybe some correspondence courses, or back to night school. You can reduce your financial needs. Perhaps the easiest solution is just to learn to not be upset by what is going on around you at work. In each situation we face we always make the choice to be upset - or not. If you don't like being upset you can simply choose not to be upset by changing you belief about how you should respond when the things that are upsetting you happen. - the Dean


Dear Dean, Thank you for your suggestion that I should find a way to accept all of the work conditions as long as I continue at my job. I have a commute of over one hour and I was upset at every delay and complained about it continually. I took your message to heart and began listening to self-improvement tapes and the lessons I have learned have enriched my life. I have learned that I am able to transform a negative situation into a positive one when I look for a way. - Dick in NJ


Dear Dick, Congratulations! It is nice to see how this little lesson has been helpful for you. Perhaps you can carry this even further by writing a book about your experience. You could do much of this during your commute using a voice activated recorder. - 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

We refer to our legal system as an adversarial system. We call it an adversarial system because it is set up as a fight between two opposing parties. A trial is set up as a contest in which the best man wins. What we are seeking is the truth of the matter. A system where the most skilled combatant usually prevails is not the best path to the truth. Lawyers who always win do not win just because they choose clients who are always innocent.


In recent years we have introduced arbitration as a way of resolving legal disputes in business matters. When we use this method we are looking at the claims of both parties and trying to determine the solution that is most equitable for the particular situation. This encourages negotiation as this allows the parties to arrive at the same solution with less formalities, time, and cost.


Besides producing poorer results the adversarial system we now use produces more anger, and a waste of time and money for our society. It also makes the courts a tool that is used to resolve disputes just because of the power of money and advantage of delay. It is nice to provide work for lawyers, but society would be better served if we shifted from the adversarial system of justice to a method that puts more focus on the search for an appropriate resolution of the problems that must be resolved.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

We can accept disagreement without being disagreeable in return. We don't have to require that we be treated well. We can accept the way other people treat us, in the sense that we don't get upset about it. We can assert our boundaries and refuse to accept the other person's position, without getting angry or upset. If we believe in our self and our own truths, then we can let the other person have their own truths, and just refuse to be affected by them.


Do we want to be happy, or do we want to be right? Whenever we are attached to being right, we are convinced the other person is wrong and we are right. As long as we cannot accept the idea that maybe they are also right, or at least realize that it just doesn't matter, we can't be free of our negative emotions or experience happiness and peace of mind. The more we accept the other person's reality as being authentic, the less upset we become.


As we become more accepting, we stop demanding that things go a certain way. It is part of our nature to want to give and receive love. When we demand things be a certain way, we are not giving love, and we seldom receive love in return when we don't give it. We get even less love when we give anger in return.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I allow others to have their beliefs.


Tuesday: Today I take time to relax and enjoy.


Wednesday: Today I am grateful for peacemakers.


Thursday: Today I do the work that is mine to do with a glad heart.


Friday: Today I take time to do a kind deed.


Saturday: Today I tell a co-worker something about them that I appreciate.


Sunday: Today I focus on the positive.


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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