Dove with Branch
March 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, I am sensitive to my weight, and do not like being reminded about it. I like to go swimming but people often kid me about my roll. How should I respond so that people will stop teasing me about it? - Trudy in NC


Dear Trudy, Accept their comments with a smile. It would be good to laugh with them if you can learn to laugh about it yourself. The fact you are heavier than other people should be no reason to depreciate yourself. We can't enjoy life in this world until we learn to accept things as they are. Weight is not a real quality of personal worth. Give up the idea that it is. What other people think of you is their business and not yours. Give up the idea that you obtain your value from what they think of you. - the Dean


Dear Dean, I am a fifty-five plus secretary in St. Louis. My co-workers sometimes ask me my age. I am sensitive about my age and I try to joke with them, but they are insensitive to my feelings. How can I get them to stop asking? - Fran in MO


Dear Fran, Stop caring! Why should you want to hide your age? It is something to be proud about, not ashamed of. If you don't want to answer the question that is fine, but they have the right to ask the question, even if they are uncaring. The fact you are sensitive about your age is your problem; not theirs. Examine why you have this problem. If you are upset by such a simple request you have an issue it would be helpful to pay attention to. - 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 have learned that bullying people and making them do things the way we want them to be done has not been effective in the home, in the workplace and in our local community. Whenever we try to do that we create resistance. People refuse to cooperate with us because they feel put upon by the way we are treating them. We want to be accepted and liked by other people for who we are and they are treating us just the opposite.


True, we can learn to recognize this is what is happening and learn not to be upset by it. This is difficult for many of us to learn. And is still not giving us the love and approval we naturally seek. This bullying behavior leads to an even greater problem. It leads to us as a nation using that kind of behavior when dealing with the other nations of the world.


If it doesn't work well in the home and the community it is not going to work well in the world. The result is that it leads to a world society that is held together through fear rather than common respect and caring for each other as fellow human beings. The world is here for us to enjoy. Why should we waste our lives generation after generation living in disharmony? All we have to do is change our way of looking at things and we can produce the joy and peace we all seek in our lives. Furthermore, we don't have to wait for the rest of the world. We can learn to experience joy and peace in personal lives now.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Most of us want to be true to our own belief systems. We want to respond the way we believe we should, rather than how we feel at the moment. Learn to follow your positive impulses in responding to situations. If you try to respond in the way you think others want you to respond, you will find it more difficult to feel good about yourself.


You probably grew up learning how to respond the way your parents and teachers told you that you should respond. You have learned those lessons from others, but you are an adult now. Now is the time to look at the way you are responding to the requests of others and make sure that you are responding the way you want to respond, not just the way you were taught. If you often don't like how you feel about what you are doing or saying, pay attention and try to determine why that is happening. Determine what changes you can make in your responses so that you will no longer be feeling negative about the actions you take.


You can learn to be in control and choose the behavior you desire. If you whine about something, remember that you have chosen that behavior. Work at seeing how self-defeating it is to whine about things. Keep looking for the times you complain about things. Refuse to accept that behavior from yourself. Change your complaining attitude to one of observing and evaluating what is going on. The thing you change by complaining is how you feel, and how others feel about you. When you complain you make yourself feel bad. You also make everyone else feel bad. Also, you will generally get a less positive response from others when you complain.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I listen to peaceful music.


Tuesday: Today I sit in a peaceful environment.


Wednesday: Today I reclaim my inner peace.


Thursday: Today I share my commitment to peace.


Friday: Today I delight in being me.


Saturday: Today I visualize world peace.


Sunday: Today I commit to resolve differences peacefully.


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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