Dove with Branch
March 9, 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 have a friend who doesn't like the car I drive and she mentions it constantly. I tell her that I don't like to be criticized, but she says "Friends should let each other know what they think." I don't think that friends should criticize each other, am I right? - Brenda in CA


Dear Brenda. If what someone thinks of you is of no value or hurtful to you then you will want to avoid them - or get over it. Many think it is really great to have someone they can trust to give them an honest opinion. You might remind her that she has already let you know how she feels. If I had a friend who was doing this to be helpful I would appreciate it very much. If what they said upset me, then I would try to examine and change how I feel about it. Friends sometimes bring out our insecurities. If they are doing it in a loving way then we can be thankful. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My son-in-law doesn't like me. He won't invite me to his home or even won't carry on a conversation with me. I have a granddaughter that I have never even seen because he won't allow my daughter to bring them to my home. My daughter has chosen to abide by his wishes even though I know it hurts her very much. He doesn't even allow her to call or write. He won't even say why he is upset with me. How can I find a way to see my daughter and granddaughter whom I love very much? - Grace in FL


Dear Grace, If he refuses to talk to you and you are unable to talk to your daughter as well, then gracious acceptance of the situation is probably your best bet in the long run. Perhaps time will change things. Have great compassion for your daughter and try not to make things more difficult for her than they already are. For whatever reason, she has chosen to abide by her husband's wishes. It was most likely not an easy choice for her. Try not to add to her suffering by showing your pain to her. Telling her that you understand without saying more would be a great gift under the circumstances. - 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 are the society. Society should be organized so that it works well for us all. If we have some way of doing things that has become customary for our society and it is not working well for us then we should be willing to develop a new way of doing things that will be more effective for us.


When we reach this conclusion and try to develop a better way of doing things we find ourselves intimidated by the special interest groups that benefit from the way things are done presently. They operate through the media and in their lobbying before government bodies. Let's learn to recognize them for what they are - special interest groups who have a stake in the outcome and want the legislation to benefit their special interests.


Somehow we have gotten the idea that they are too powerful and that we can't create legislation that goes against their special interests. In our system of government it is the votes that count, not the money. If the money is buying the votes then we can elect new representatives who have not been and will not be bought by the money. It would help if we would change the way we elect our politicians so they don't need the money to get elected. The present system just makes the problem of the votes following the money more difficult to solve. Let's devise a way of electing politicians without them having to spend money to get elected and we will solve a lot of our inequities in the present system.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

If we think we must have a certain result, then we are addicted to the outcome. If we desire a certain result, we have a preference. If we have no preference as to what the results will be then it is easy to be accepting. If we are accepting, then we have no negative emotions attached to the event or to the outcome. We can also learn that we do not have to be emotionally attached to the outcome, even when we have a preference. We can accept the idea that we are willing to try things the other person's way.


For everything that happens in our life, there are three possibilities: (1) We can change it, (2) We can leave it, or (3) We can accept it. With each event in our life we need to make this choice. For example; consider your work. You may not be happy with it just the way it is. Is there a way you might change it to make it better? If that is not possible, then your next choice might be to leave it. That may not be possible for the present, because you may need the work in order to eat, or pay the rent. You then can choose to accept your work, or you may choose to make a plan to change to new employment in the future. If you choose to make a change later, then you need to make the decision to accept your work for now. As with all of life's experiences, if we don't find a way to make our work experience a positive one, then we are left with negative emotions in our lives.


To remove any anger or other negative emotions from your life, you need to apply this principle of change it, leave it, or accept it each time you need to make a choice. The important thing is to remember that if you can't change something and are not going to leave it that the only choice left for you is to accept it.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Today I release all anger from my life.


Tuesday: Today I celebrate my commitment to live in peace.


Wednesday: Every day I join others in a prayer for world peace.


Thursday: Today I accept the viewpoints of others as valid for them.


Friday: Today I agree to understand the viewpoints of others.


Saturday: Today I choose to feel loving toward those whom I disagree with.


Sunday: Today I choose to love the world and appreciate my life experience.


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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