Dove with Branch
March 23, 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, Many of our relatives like to visit because while they are on vacation because we live close to great skiing. We don't mind them staying with us but we just don't have the extra money for food (and we don't fish). How do we let people know we can't afford to have them stay with us? - Bruce in ID


Dear Bruce, Staying with you doesn't seem to be a problem except for the expense. Why can't you simply let them know your situation? Being with friends is still a good deal for both of you. Be honest and things will work out fine. They will be happy to cover expenses, or stay elsewhere. Fail to tell the truth and everyone will be upset. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My husband's family don't approve of me. They think I am not good enough for him because I am not of their culture. They are always finding fault with me and telling him he needs to find someone of their ethnic background. The problem is that he will go there for holidays without me. I want to be with him on the holidays but he says he can't neglect his family and that I should go and they will eventually accept me. - Maria in CN


Dear Maria, The inability to understand ethnic differences frequently results in problems. This is something both you need to work out. Neither you nor he is obligated to handle it in a certain way, or do a certain thing. What you do need to do is find a solution that will work for both of you. Look hard at the possibility of going with him, even if the reception is cool. They may warm when they grow accustomed to you, and see that he truly cares for you. The important thing is to resolve this problem in some way that works for both of you. How effective the two of you are at resolving differences is usually more important than the differences. - 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

If we use war only in self-defense and even then only as a tool of last resort we will have much less war in the world. If we use war as a tool of last resort we will only have war when we have a failure of imagination. As long as we are able to think of other possible solutions war will not become necessa.


When we examine the wars we have participated in we have discovered after the fact that many of them were not necessary: because peaceful solutions were possible and that many wars didn't produce the desired results anyway. We have often found that the price for war was too high, even when we were the victor. This being the case we would be well advised to seek a less drastic resolution of our differences. Fortunately we are reaching a place in the evolution of our consciousness and our thinking that we are capable of developing far more effective resolutions to our conflicts with other nations and other societies.


The price of war in human casualties and resources has become too high for us to bear! The ability for us to understand and resolve our differences has risen to the level that we are capable of resolving our differences. All that is left to do is for each nation to give up the need to impose their ways and ideas on other nations. We will be able to do this when society and the individuals in the society give up the idea of imposing our will on others. We must be willing to be equal parts of a unified whole with each having the freedom to being their own person, neighborhood, city, state and nation.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Personal Peace comes from the way we view and respond to the world around us. Our own personal world and the way we feel about it is determined by the way we chose to respond rather than by what actually happens to us.


Whatever happens is simply what happens. How we choose to view it is determined by our own personal belief system, the way we look at things, and how we feel about all of the stuff that has happened to us in the past. How we feel, and how we respond to something always comes from our own personal choice that we make at the moment the event or thought occurs to us.


Most of us have learned to judge events as either good or bad and respond accordingly. This is the way our parents and the world have taught us how to deal with things. We are taught that we are supposed to feel bad, or angry, when certain things happen. Too often we make a judgment that things are bad and then respond from our negative emotions, instead of being able to calmly think about what happened before we choose how to respond.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: Think about how your beliefs are created out of your teaching and experiences.


Tuesday: Think about how you would feel if your beliefs did not cause you to be upset.


Wednesday: Think about the beliefs you have about your family that you would like to change.


Thursday: Think about the beliefs you have about your work that you would like to change.


Friday: Think about the beliefs you have about your community and your country that you would like to change.


Saturday: Think about the beliefs you have about yourself that you would like to change.


Sunday: Resolve that when your beliefs are upsetting, you will find a new belief to replace them.


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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