The Charge of the Light Brigade – The Affirmation Spot for Saturday July 25, 2009

Ray’s Daily Affirmation:

“Even amid adversity, I endeavor to succeed to the maximum extent of my abilities.”
(Choose from 100s mp3 affirmations at The Affirmation Spot)



chargeIt’s strange how we are often intrigued by those things so opposite our personalities. If you’ve read this blog for very long or read much of my other writing, you probably know I am a harsh critic of war.

It is a barbaric means of settling differences for a species that longs to be deemed civilized. It distorts issues of right and wrong. It kills, maims, and otherwise ruins generations. It uses the exuberance and inexperience of young men and their desire for adventure against them. It fills their minds with visions of glory for the motherland, but not the costs associated with gaining it.

Worst of all, it is rarely even fought for the noble purposes used to justify and excuse it. More often it is fought for greedy profits and a thirst for power and glory. War is a toxic medicine that must be choked down with the sugar pills of patriotism, duty, and honor to convince the populace to ingest it. Bluntly, it almost never serves the interests of the people who actually fight and die in wars.

Yet, as a history major and history buff, war provides some of the most compelling stories in history. It pushes technologies forward, and forces us to challenge and confront our own inhumanity. In college, I read every about word ever written about General George S. Patton and many of the other generals of World War II. I’ve studied the strategies and personalities of nearly every Civil War battle. War, for all its evils, war intrigues.

From the time I was a small boy, one of my favorite poems has always been Alfred Lord Tennyson‘s “The Charge of the Light Brigade”.

The poem depicts a famous battle from the Crimean War (1853-1856) – Europe’s first true continental war. British commander Lord Cardigan led a disastrous charge of British Light cavalry against Russian defenses at the Battle of Balaclava on October 25, 1854.

Tennyson immortalized the event with his famous poem. What I love about the poem – beyond its obvious references to war’s paradoxes of tragedy and heroics – is that it is a metaphor for life. Our life often seems to have metaphorical “cannon to the right, cannon to the left, cannon behind us”.

I hope you enjoy this and that you will draw strength from it for your own “battles”.

“The Charge of the Light Brigade”

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Half a league, half a league,
Half a league onward,
All in the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!
“Charge for the guns!” he said:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

“Forward, the Light Brigade!”
Was there a man dismay’d?
Not tho’ the soldier knew
Someone had blunder’d:
Theirs not to make reply,
Theirs not to reason why,
Theirs but to do and die:
Into the valley of Death
Rode the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon in front of them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
Boldly they rode and well,

Into the jaws of Death,
Into the mouth of Hell
Rode the six hundred.

Flash’d all their sabres bare,
Flash’d as they turn’d in air,
Sabring the gunners there,
Charging an army, while
All the world wonder’d:
Plunged in the battery-smoke
Right thro’ the line they broke;
Cossack and Russian
Reel’d from the sabre stroke
Shatter’d and sunder’d.
Then they rode back, but not
Not the six hundred.

Cannon to right of them,
Cannon to left of them,
Cannon behind them
Volley’d and thunder’d;
Storm’d at with shot and shell,
While horse and hero fell,
They that had fought so well
Came thro’ the jaws of Death
Back from the mouth of Hell,
All that was left of them,
Left of six hundred.

When can their glory fade?
O the wild charge they made!
All the world wondered.
Honor the charge they made,
Honor the Light Brigade,
Noble six hundred.

Stay inspired!

Ray

2009 Affirmation

“This year I am absolutely committed to being the person I came here to be!”

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About Ray Davis

Ray Davis is an author and co-founder of 6 Sense Media. His latest books are the Anunnaki Awakening trilogy - speculative fiction series focusing the issues of humanity's past and future. The series is heavily influenced by the science fiction genre. Book 1 - Revelation - is now available - http://www.AATrilogy.com. Ray has written prolifically on the topics of personal development and human potential. In 2007, Ray founded The Affirmation Spot - a website offering downloadable mp3 motivational tools and affirmations. http://www.theaffirmationspot.com. Ray began studying affirmations and positive thinking after a life-threatening illness at 25. His thirst for self-improvement led him to read the writings of Joseph Campbell, Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Neale Donald Walsch, and many other luminaries in the fields of mythology and motivation. Over time, he has melded these ideas into his own philosophy on self-development. He has written and used affirmations and other tools throughout that time to improve his own life and has a passion for helping other reach for their goals and dreams. In 2010 he authored an eBook titled The Power to Be You: 417 Original Daily Thoughts for Personal Empowerment. Ray holds a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Secondary Education in Social Studies from University of Kansas. He lives in Louisburg, KS with his wife, April, two grown stepkids, and his black lab, Mia.
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