The Parable of Five Crosswalks

crosswalkWill is a kind young man. He goes out of his way to be kind to other people, to look them in the eye, and to smile. He seeks to treat everyone as he would want to be treated.

On this Tuesday afternoon, Will was headed to work at the local bookstore. The store was at the end of long, modern strip mall. Every day, as was his custom, Will came in at the opposite end of the mall. He has to cross five cross walks to reach the store.

At the first crosswalk, Will encountered a mother with two small children. He smiled and waved them across.

At the second crosswalk, Will waited patiently as an elderly man with a walker slowly made his way across. He smiled at Will and mouthed, “Thank you.”

The third crosswalk presented a young woman loaded down with bags. He looked at the clock on his phone, now concerned he might be late for work. The young woman smiled appreciatively as he waved her across.

As he approached the fourth crosswalk, he noticed a car that had patiently allowed several cars to turn in front of him. He stopped and let the car go, as the clock turned to 3:00. He was now officially late.

He approached the fifth crosswalk, now feeling some stress. As he approached, he saw man exiting the store and heading toward the crosswalk. It was one of those 50/50 calls. You’ve had them. Should you beat the pedestrian or wait?

Will accelerated slightly through the crosswalk. The man ran out and kicked the back of his car. He shouted that Will was a selfish a$sh*le. Then he yelled something about how selfish people Will’s age are.

You’re probably thinking what a jerk. How judgmental. You’re right.

Let’s be honest, though. How often in life are we the person at that fifth crosswalk?

Someone cuts us off in traffic. Someone holds a different political view than us. We don’t have any context. For all we know, that person could have just proverbially let four other people cross and he might be late for work. We judge that person, quickly and finally, based on one thing.

If you’re like me, you’re complicated. Far too complicated to be summed up by one action, one belief, or one word. Why don’t we give others the benefit of that doubt? Why do t we think a little more before we oversimplify other human beings and judge them based on practically nothing.

Maybe the next time you’re ready for swift summary judgment, you’ll stop and wonder about the other four crosswalks.

Be the person you came to the planet to be.

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot and the author of the author of Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation, the first in a alternative history trilogy.

Reincarnation Ought to Breed Compassion

Multiethnic Group of People with Colorful Outfit

Recent polls show that 20 percent of Americans believe in reincarnation. However, we are way outside the global average when you take into account Hinduism and the suppressed global numbers of Buddhists thanks to the Chinese Government, it’s likely that well over half the world’s population believes in some form of reincarnation.

Let’s assume for a moment reincarnation is true – which by the way I do. Who do you think you’ve been in your previous lives? Well, the options are kind of limited. You’ve probably had lives as a man and a woman. You’ve probably run through the races. You’ve likely been a member of every major modern religion and a bunch of extinct religions. You’ve probably been a “bleeding heart” liberal and a “right wing” nut. You’ve oppressed and oppressor, king and pauper, 1% and 99%. You’ve been saint and you’ve been sinner.

Here’s the net, net. Being racist, religiously bigoted, ethnically superior, gender-centric, economically divided really is hating a part of yourself. You’ve been what you love and you’ve been what you despise and, oh by the way, so has the person you despise in this life.

Hmm. Now one could argue that even if that’s true, part of the game is throwing ourselves into our roles in this life and being who we are. True. Still, one would think that such a realization might soften the edges a little bit. Might make one look with compassion and a little more understanding at “the other” who is really just us in a different time and place.

What if you held the thought “I’ve been like that person,” before the next time you choose to think and act from a mind of division and a heart of judgment?

What would the world be like then?

Keep seeking the truth and stay inspired!

Ray

Ray Davis is the author of Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com – founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race. He’s life-long history buff and holds a B.S. in History Education. He’s always been fascinated by alternative views of history.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leaders seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

10 Compassion Affirmations

I discovered this wonderful video on YouTube about compassion. The message of universal compassion is one that needs to be heard and heeded in our modern world. What a great way to say it!

Compassion Affirmations

  1. Today and every day, I am the very embodiment of compassion!
  2. My world is what I make of it and I CHOOSE to make it a compassionate place to be!
  3. I am the very embodiment of love and compassion in all my interactions with others.
  4. Today and every day, I am a part of solving the compassion deficit in my world!
  5. Today I care for the Earth by caring for my fellow human beings and expanding compassion on our planet.
  6. I believe wholeheartedly that I am part of the solution in my life and in my world.
  7. The world needs my compassion! Today and every day, I make a difference!
  8. Compassion’s ROI is measured not on bottom lines, but from the bottom of our hearts.
  9. Today I honor, expand, and share the compassion that lives within me!
  10. Compassion is a force of nature that transforms everyone it touches.

Compassion is always in fashion!

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot. He’s spent more than 25 years studying personal development and especially writing, recording, and using affirmations to achieve his goals. His eBook – The Power to Be You – offers 416 life-changing and original quotes, ideas, and affirmations to take you to new levels of achievement and reflection.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorAnunnaki Awakening: Revelation, Ray’s first novel,  is turning heads and opening minds. Humanity’s past is checkered, secret, and dangerous.

White House Correspondent Maria Love is on to the story of her life and with the help of an Anunnaki leader seeks to unravel and reveal history’s biggest conspiracy. The Awakening has begun!

Ruthless Compassion: An Interview with Dr. Marcia Sirota – The Affirmation Spot for Friday March 5, 2010

Today’s Affirmation:

Today I am just me; no masks and no excuses. Simply me!

One of the goals of this blog is to expose readers to some of the great thinkers and practitioners in the worlds of motivation, self-help, and personal development. Today I am pleased share an interview with Dr. Marcia Sirota MD FRCP (C).

Dr. Sirota is an author, speaker, and founder of the Ruthless Compassion Institute. This conversation was conducted by email between February 21 and March 1, 2010. I’d like to express my thanks to her for her generous attention and thoughtful responses to the questions posed and for sharing her wisdom and ideas with us.

I hope you will find Ruthless Compassion a useful tool in your journey. You will find contact information for Dr. Sirota at the conclusion of the interview.

Stay inspired!

Ray


TAS: Marcia, can you tell the readers a little about your background and what led you to the work you are doing now?

Dr. Marcia Sirota: I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy, having studied both Western and Eastern schools of thought. I also have a background in the arts; in particular drawing, writing and dance. I’m a board-certified psychiatrist currently doing individual and group psychotherapy with a focus on healing trauma, overcoming blocks to creativity and success, conquering addictions and improving relationships.

TAS: Ruthless Compassion is an attention-getting phrase. How do you define RC? How long have you been practicing and teaching it?

DMS: Ruthless Compassion is a synthesis of loving-kindness and empowerment. It’s a philosophy which promotes the unerring pursuit of the unvarnished truth tempered with an attitude of gentleness and respect toward ourselves and others. It also entails taking personal responsibility for the choices we make and the actions we take in life; recognizing that no-one can or should do these things for us. Finally, it’s an attitude of integrity, whereby we hold ourselves and others accountable for these choices and actions and don’t enable anyone to continue making bad choices.

TAS: I love the idea of a philosophy that combines loving-kindness and empowerment. Often in life one person holding another person accountable can create conflict. How do inexperienced practitioners hold others accountable without eliciting hostility? Do all involved parties have to be committed to the process for it succeed?

DMS: Holding someone accountable for their actions doesn’t always mean confronting them. Sometimes it’s necessary to be more direct and to let them know that their behavior is unacceptable, but often it’s preferable just to give the person the type of consequences that emerge out of you taking better care of yourself. Practicing RC isn’t about “teaching someone a lesson” or bashing them over the head to make a point. It’s about neither enabling someone to hurt you nor colluding with them when they try to hurt others.

If someone gets angry or hostile when you don’t let them get away with their bad behavior, it demonstrates that they are unreasonable, and unwilling to change their ways. It might be disappointing to see this about someone but it’s not a bad outcome. It provides you with crucial information about their character that you’ll need in order to asses whether you want to associate with them or not.

All parties don’t have to be aware of RC for it to succeed. When someone receives consequences for having made a bad choice, they are being presented (by the practitioner of RC) with an opportunity to learn from their mistakes. They have a further choice to make then: whether to take advantage of the opportunity to learn and grow or to reject it, and perhaps become angry.

If the person chooses to become upset about receiving a consequence, perhaps in the future other people will practice RC with them and eventually they’ll make the connection and learn something; maybe even changing their ways. On the other hand, if they immediately use the consequences to improve their behavior, two things will happen: they’ll make it possible for us to trust them and feel closer to them, and they’ll be learning at the same time how RC works and may choose to use it themselves in the future.

TAS: This may sound like a question for a musician, but who are your psychological influences? Whose work inspired your vision for RC?

DMS: My psychological influences are many and varied: They include all my teachers, whether in my personal life or the ones I’ve studied in books. I especially appreciate Freud and his division of the psyche into Id, Ego and Super-ego, and Transactional Analysis, developed by Eric Berne who translated these concepts into the child, adult and parent parts of the psyche. I’ve taken that idea and run with it in my theories and practice. I also appreciate Jungian archetypes, folk tales and mythology as bases for understanding the complexities of the human psyche and human relationships. I probably take a lot from various schools of Buddhism, as well.

Ruthless Compassion came to me as an evolving concept through my practice and my life. All the above influences as well as my life experiences combined into this new way of looking at things. In observing the suffering of my patients and of people in general, I saw that the old ways of dealing with relationships, work, the environment, money, addiction, creativity and even spirituality didn’t hold, and that a new approach was desperately needed. Ruthless Compassion was borne of this need.

TAS: On your website, you state, “The goal of the (Ruthless Compassion) institute is to enable you to live with greater freedom, empowerment and happiness, to be in constructive, meaningful relationships and to make a positive contribution to your family and community.” How does RC help people achieve these aspirations?

DMS: RC can help people live better lives in that it supports their becoming more conscious. The ruthlessness aspect spurs them ever onward in seeing and dealing with the truth of how things are, who they are, and what the people in their life are doing to them and around them. The compassion aspect allows them to face the truth without beating themselves up, either for the choices they’ve been making or for not having seen the truth sooner.

RC keeps people from being enablers to others’ bad behavior, thus preventing a lot of potential suffering. RC is empowering because it has people living in reality and this makes it more possible for them to achieve their goals. It has people taking responsibility for themselves, while also preventing them from criticizing themselves. This combination is a great motivator for positive action.

TAS: What differentiates RC from other forms therapy or self-development techniques? Are there similarities with some other techniques?

DMS: RC is different in that it’s reality-based. There’s no magical thinking involved that tells people to think the right thoughts and then they’ll achieve their goals, or that if they buy into this quick and easy solution, they’ll fix their problem(s). RC tells you that good things come from working toward realistic goals in a meaningful way.

RC doesn’t promise to change your life or that it will bring you amazing riches, fabulous success or  brilliant romance. What it does do is enable you to let go of a lot of the unnecessary suffering in your life that has come from making poor choices – the choices that were based on false hope, inappropriate expectations or erroneous beliefs. It allows you to improve your relationships by owning your part in them and letting go of the part that doesn’t belong to you; it frees you to pursue real goals, both of personal growth and outer success, based on your real efforts.

RC is also different because it doesn’t ask you to change who you are to practice it. It’s not a dogma, and therefore anyone can benefit from it. It doesn’t require you to change your diet, your religion or your lifestyle. What you do have to change is your attitude and your old ways of looking at yourself, others and the world.

I imagine that RC has similarities with a number of techniques or tools for living, but I also think that it is a unique philosophy in and of itself.

TAS: You mentioned magical thinking and false hope. Of course, there are some very popular “systems” that have come out in recent years giving people the impression that their thoughts are a kind of cosmic ATM card. You think the right thoughts, the claims go, and anything can be yours.

Unfortunately, those ideas have caused damage to the demonstrated benefits of positive thinking and positive visualization. How do you differentiate magical thinking from positive thinking and what role, if any, does positive affirmation play in RC? How does one differentiate false hope from real hope?

DMS: Magical thinking is deciding that something is so, just because you want it to be. It has no basis in reality. Positive thinking is seeing the reality of a situation and maximizing its potential.

False hope is the hope for something that could never be; for example that if you try hard enough you could get someone who doesn’t like you to love you. Real hope is grounded in what is actually possible, like the hope that you could become a happier, healthier person.

There is definitely a role for positive affirmation in RC but for it to be meaningful, it must be reality-based. This means we recognize our own limitations and the limitations of reality, and instead of trying to affirm the impossible (which renders our affirmations absurd) we affirm our inherent qualities and strengths.

Positive affirmations should remind us that we’re entitled to be happy and free; that we’re lovable and valuable as we are, and that we’re more likely (although not guaranteed) to succeed if we give something our best effort.

When affirmations are disconnected from reality, they are ridiculous at best and destructive at worst. When they are reality-based, they encourage us and support us in pursuing and achieving our goals.

TAS: What kinds of results have you witnessed? Are you able to share any anonymous success stories that really demonstrate the power of RC?

DMS: Practicing RC is a very effective way of improving your life. I’ve seen many example of people making positive changes in their relationships, at work, in overcoming addictions and in developing self-esteem. I’ve had a few patients whose marriages were in crisis and through the practice of RC, they are now in a much better place.

I had one patient who was being exploited and disrespected at work, even though they were an excellent employee. Through the practice of RC they’ve become a lot more strategic in the workplace, and while they continue to do excellent work, they are now setting appropriate limits on what is asked of them as well as commanding respect from supervisors and colleagues.

TAS: Where does RC go from here? Do you feel like the concept is fully developed or ever-evolving?

DMS: I see RC as an ever-evolving way of thinking and being. As I evolve as a person, and as the people who are using it evolve, we’ll be able to see where we can take this philosophy of empowerment, personal responsibility, self-accountability and integrity.

Rigid ideology tends to devolve into dogma; even fanaticism. I want RC to be a living, breathing philosophy that can grow and develop as we do. In order to be valid, it must be able to tolerate questioning and be amenable to change.

TAS: Yes. We have seen dogma and fanaticism result from many well-meaning philosophies in the past. Does RC have a future beyond this generation? Do you see it as a movement or philosophy that will transcend your current work? Are there other teachers learning and teaching it? Does someone need to be in counseling or a group to practice it or can someone practice on his or her own?

DMS: RC is in its nacent form, and it’s my hope that more and more people will begin to embrace it and experience the benefit of practicing it. Like any new movement, people need to find out about it and I plan on giving seminars (webinars) and workshops in the near future to teach people how to apply the principles of RC in their daily lives.

I don’t think that RC needs to be learned or taught in a therapeutic setting, but I do believe that whoever teaches it must be very well-versed in the theory and practice, in order that they neither dilute nor distort the message. Along the same lines, those who want to learn it must be sincere, open-minded and well-taught, so that they don’t go off with a partial or confused understanding of the principles of RC.

TAS: If TAS readers are interested in learning more about RC or your work, how can they do that?

DMS: TAS readers are welcome to visit my website: http://www.ruthlesscompassioninstitute.com where they can view videos and read articles about the practice of RC. The “About” section of the site also discusses the meaning and purpose of RC. I am on Twitter: @rcinstitute, where I regularly tweet original content that represents my philosophical point of view.

TAS: Marcia, thank you so much. We look forward to hearing more about RC in the future.

The Simple Things – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday February 24, 2010

Today’s Affirmation:
Today and every day, I take the time to stop and remember the simple, beautiful things in my life!

I came across this video the other night while on YouTube. The music and the video combine to remind us of the simple and important things in life. I don’t know the story behind the video, but thought it might add to your day as it added to mine.

Stay inspired!

Ray

2010 Affirmation

“2010 is MY year! This is the year I break free! This is the year I break through! This is the year I break out!”

Compassion As A Global Mission – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday February 18, 2010

I really have little to add to this wonderful video I discovered on YouTube this evening. The message of universal compassion is one that needs to be heard and heeded in our modern world. What a great way to say it!

Compassion Affirmations

  1. Today and every day, I am the very embodiment of compassion!
  2. My world is what I make of it and I CHOOSE to make it a compassionate place to be!
  3. I am the very embodiment of love and compassion in all my interactions with others.
  4. Today and every day, I am a part of solving the compassion deficit in my world!
  5. Today I care for the Earth by caring for my fellow human beings and expanding compassion on our planet.
  6. I believe wholeheartedly that I am part of the solution in my life and in my world.
  7. The world needs my compassion! Today and every day, I make a difference!
  8. Compassion’s ROI is measured not on bottom lines, but from the bottom of our hearts.
  9. Today I honor, expand, and share the compassion that lives within me!
  10. Compassion is a force of nature that transforms everyone it touches.

Stay inspired! Be compassionate!

Ray

2010 Affirmation

“2010 is MY year! This is the year I break free! This is the year I break through! This is the year I break out!”

Making The World A Better Place Today – The Affirmation Spot for Wednesday January 16, 2008


Today’s affirmation is:

“I make my world. My world is what I make of it and I choose to make it a compassionate place to be.”

hands1.gifHas the world gone nuts? It seems so some days. Thankfully, you need not wait for change to occur in the world. You can start right now to create a more sane and compassionate world in the ways you touch it.

The simple things are still the recipe for greater happiness. Treat others with kindness even when they don’t return the favor. Only use what you need. Maintain a measure of mindfulness with regard to your thoughts and activities. Join with others  who share your hope for a better, more evolved world and take the first steps today. Smile, lighten up, have fun, and enjoy your life on this beautiful world and in this marvelous Universe.

Take the Ten Commandments, The Golden Rule, the Five Precepts of Buddhism, or other ageless tenets and try living by them. Not under the commandment of any God, religious organization, or out of fear of punishment, but out of a recognition that they make rational sense and create a better world.

The philosopy you hold – Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Muslim, Hindu – is not what is ultimately important. What is important is being the most ethical, compassionate Christian, Hindu, Muslim, Jew, or Buddhist you can be and the world will be a better place for it.

During his 1989 visit to Los Angeles, The Dalai Lama said, “We don’t need temple, we don’t big Cathedral. We need warmth of heart. We, each of us, have a responsibility to shape the future of humanity. So let us try and contribute as much as we can.”

You have the power right now to do the good that you see needs doing in the world. Certainly, collective action by a group is important, but your actions or inactions in your life today affect the world around you in big ways.  Never underestimate yourself and the power to influence things.

If someone cuts you off in traffic, don’t respond with anger that puts negative energy out into the universe. That helps. Not giving in to your own prejudices and weaknesses that contribute the problems in the world. That helps. Going out of your way to be friendly to a stranger just because. That helps.  There is no end to what you can do that will make the world a better place.

The problems we face in the world are a result of our interpersonal conflicts and our own internal conflicts projected out onto the world. If you do not address the anger and fear you feel in your own hearts you will only be bandaging the problems of the world.

With just a little effort today, you can make all the difference!

 Be peaceful Be prosperous!

Ray

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