Dove with Branch
March 30, 2015

Insights From

the Dean of Peace


   Notes from the Dean's Desk
Dear Peaceaker,

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Ask the Dean?
Dean Van Leuven   Global Struggle

Dear Dean, Thank you for another excellent newsletter. About your message "Do you want to be right - or do you want to be happy:" I find that I often get into silly arguments over things my partner is saying wrong simple because they are wrong. It really doesn't matter that they are wrong about many things so I have slowly learned not to argue about things that don't really matter whether they are right or not. You are right it doesn't matter whether we had baked potatoes on Wednesday or Thursday - Nora in OH


Dear Norah, Thanks for your comments. When we let go of the unimportant stuff we release a lot of anger production. - the Dean


Dear Dean, My spouse is a very poor cook. I tell her what I want for dinner and she never seems to get it right. What can I do to make her fix things the way they should be cooked? - Rob in CT


Dear Rob, Your wife is not here to be your servant, unless she agreed to fix the meals and just the way you like them before marriage. If you are not satisfied with the meals she prepares you always have the option of fixing them yourself. You most likely would find your meals prepared better if you compliment her, even when they are not. The more you compliment her for her successes the more she will be motivated to cook your meals the way you want them. Besides that, she will be more loving to you as well. When you complain about burnt toast something else is apt to not turn out the way you want. - 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

Many of us live in a world of personal turmoil. We often fail to realize that inner peace and joy are equally available to each of us. Regardless of the circumstances in our life it is a personal decision whether we allow ourselves to be upset by what happens - or not. We will accept anything as appropriate if we personally believe that is the way life should be. And we will fear anything we believe is fearful.


We accepted the idea that communism was going to take over the world and that we must prevent it from advancing at every turn and at any cost. As a result of this fear we entered into war of rebellion against the government in Vietnam. Many lives were lost and even though we lost, the results turned out well. Things would have turned out even better had we not entered the war. Life is too dear to lose it over our irrational fears.


The next time we want to enter into a fight with someone I suggest that we look at the situation from their point of view, and try to determine what they want to accomplish instead of looking just at our fear of what could happen. The world is not naturally a "dog eat dog" world. We have made it that way unnecessarily because of our distrust and fears. Everyone may want something from someone else, but we have learned long ago that we can accomplish more by negotiating than fighting.


Creating a Peaceful New World
  World Peace

Most often the anger directed toward us is due to the other person having different expectations than our own. They are operating under the assumption that we will act toward them in a certain way; and when we don't, their anger is triggered. They may have very different beliefs and be totally unaware of our point of view or motivation; or they simply may be very different from us in many ways.


In dealing with another person's emotions, it is important to be aware of the fact that the other person wants something to come out of their relationship with you. The key is to understand their expectations, and to help them understand yours.


Such mutual understanding is brought about by meaningful communication. Rather than expecting the other person to feel the same way as you do about the situation that has made them upset, make a real effort to find out how they are thinking about something. In order to get a good understanding of what's driving their upset, so that you can ultimately diffuse it, you need to hone your listening and communication skills. Train yourself to be a good listener by learning how to "listen deeply." To do this, you must put your own thoughts and beliefs on hold, and really focus on what the other person is saying.


Tips for Peaceful and Joyful Living
  Left Arrow

Monday: When someone is upset with you ask yourself why you think they are angry.


Tuesday: When someone is upset ask yourself what they are expecting from you.


Wednesday: When someone is angry with you ask yourself what different belief they have that is causing the upset.


Thursday: When someone is asking something from you find out exactly what they are expecting and why they do.


Friday: When you are asking something of someone make sure they understand exactly what you are expecting and why you expect it.


Saturday: When someone asks something from you try to understand their request from their point of view.


Sunday: Resolve to always be a good listener, and understand fully the meaning and feeling of what others are relating to you.


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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