52 Reflections on “Us” vs. “Them”

There is a dangerous virus that pervades many minds on this planet. It is so woven into the fabric of our conditioning that many don’t even recognize it in themselves. The assumption that “We’re right” and “They’re wrong” is a given to many people on this planet. There are the true believers who believe that their race, religion, political affiliation, nation, ethnic group, or point of view are unquestionably superior.

This virus is ancient and it is persistent. Do you remember this scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey? How different are many of our actions today from this primitive display?

Then there are many who fall into this mindset simply from conditioning of one kind or another. They come not to recognize the bias any more. There are also those otherwise happy, positive people who, because of some traumatic or horrific event, have found justification for giving another group globalized characteristics. There are some who just flat believe humanity cannot change.

To me, this mindset limits us, keeps us in perpetual cycles of fear and violence. We feel justified, even righteous in shouting down or shooting down “Them”. I don’t pretend that this post is going to change all of this. My goal is to simply make you reflect on the degree to which you subscribe to an “Us” vs. “Them” mindset in your life.

These are a combination of Tweets from the past few years and some new thoughts as well. May we all continue to grow and transform this mindset in our lives.

  1. When the labels start, the critical thinking has stopped.
  2. Those who live in a world of “Us” vs. “Them” never contemplate that they are someone else’s “Them”.
  3. How arbitrary and fate-driven are the things that divide us. How conscious and choice-driven are the things that unite us.
  4. There is no greater impediment to the world we seek than the refrain, “But they…”.
  5. The tribe says, “Pick a side”. The wise say, “Been there. Tried that.”
  6. As long as your mind is divided into “Us” and “Them”, your world will be too!
  7. Those who divide the world into “Us” vs. “Them” miss the point. It always “Us” vs. “Us”
  8. Leaders who use “Us” vs. “Them” to secure their power deserve neither leadership, nor power.
  9. Hatred is a fire and its first victim is the hater.
  10. “Us” and “Them” are tyranny’s two favorite constituencies.
  11. “Us” vs. “Them” is a fear-centered world. A fear-centered world disempowers all of us.
  12. “They started it!” Two-year-olds in the sandbox or the mantra of world leaders in the “Us” vs. “Them” paradigm?
  13. The borders in our minds and the borders in our world are built of fears.
  14. Labels are toxic mental residue masquerading as critical thinking.
  15. There is no difference between a fundamentalist “Us” and a fundamentalist “Them”.
  16. “Us” vs. “Them” is a dead end mindset…literally.
  17. Whatever anger rules, anger destroys.
  18. Every time you think of the world in terms of “Us” vs. “Them”, you are empowering the dividers.
  19. Who you are born is fate. Who they are born is fate. Who we become is a choice.
  20. Many a king has kept “Us” together by creating a frightening “Them”.
  21. Those who divide the world into “Good Us” and “Evil Them”, must always avoid looking into mirrors.
  22. “Tastes Great” vs. “Less Filling” politics only conditions the mind of the people, robbing them of half their right to vote.
  23. The divisions we grow in our minds are the divisions we find in our world.
  24. We label what we refuse to understand.
  25. We live on a tiny blue ball in a great black vastness. How do we manage to convert that into division, rather than togetherness?
  26. In the mindset of “Us” vs. “Them”, peace is impossible and war is inevitable.
  27. But for fate, “They” would be “Us” and “We” would be “Them”.
  28. Every dogma that you hold, holds you. Every grudge that you hold, holds you.
  29. When you look for evil in others, you find it. When you look for goodness in others, you find it. That change is not in them. That change is in you.
  30. Labels are mental blocks that stifle discussion and critical thought, beginning in the mind and continuing out into the world.
  31. Open your mind to “Their” perspective. Walk a mile in the “Their” shoes. Read something you don’t agree with.
  32. Focus on seeing the “Us” in “Them” and the “Them” in “Us”. Soon you forget who is who.
  33. The unconscious superstructure underlying “Us” vs. “Them” is that I am part of “Us”. That, by default, makes “Us” right and “Them” wrong.
  34. As long as there are borders in our minds, there will be borders on our maps.
  35. See the world as “Us” and “Them and it is. See the world as We and it is.
  36. In the mindset of “Us” vs. “Them”, their evil justifies ours.
  37. Never was a greater money maker devised than war. Never was a simpler trigger for war devised than “Us” vs. “Them”.
  38. Every division on this planet is human-made and can be human-unmade.
  39. Let us transform fear into love and division into common purpose.
  40. Let us come out from behind our masks; come out from behind our labels; and live in peace as human beings.
  41. Let us create a world where fearing each other is ridiculous and loving each other is as expected as the next breath.
  42. Let us create a world where the adjective we are all most proud of is human being.
  43. Let us create a world where we love each other for our commonalities, rather than despising each other for our differences.
  44. Let us create a world where kindness is seen as a strength and violence is seen as a failure.
  45. Let us create a world where living in peace is as expected as the next breath.
  46. Let us get beyond our petty differences and move on to life’s bigger questions.
  47. Let us create a world where respecting our differences is as expected as the next breath.
  48. Let us each listen to our own heart and to the collective heart; both of which are calling us to greater things.
  49. Let us be quicker to love and slower to judge.
  50. Let each of us commit our lives to mending fences, rather than building walls.
  51. Let us live according to our hopes for each other, rather than our fears of each other.
  52. Let us remember the commonality of our human predicament and the things that connect us rather than those that divide us.

Follow your bliss. Experience your bliss. Become your bliss.

Ray

Ray Davis is the founder of The Affirmation Spot and an advocate for the potential of the human race.  He’s the author of the breakthrough novel Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation – order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com

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

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Dictionary of Human Behavior – The Affirmation Spot for Thursday March 13, 2008

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I hesitated greatly before deciding to post today’s article. The dictionary is a bit – but only a bit – tongue-in-cheek. My analysis is dire, but hopeful. I try to keep this blog positive. I want people to find in it place they can come every day to be inspired, englightened, or reminded how special they are.

Sometimes, however, light comes along with heat. Satire is a tool for awakening. And so, I present a dictionary of words that might differ slightly from the definitions you’ll find in Webster’s or at Dictionary.com. Unfortunately, these definitions are,  all too often, closer to the truth.

You may find yourself chuckling because it describes someone you know or even you at times. Actually, it describes all of us sometimes.

What I’d ask you, make that implore you, to think about as you read these is whether a world in our current situation can long survive while so many still embody these definitions? The weapons of mass destruction genie is out of the bottle. The choices we continue to make in our own self-interests on this planet are very soon to have consequences, if we do not mend our ways and our fences.Omar Bradley

General Omar Bradley
once said,

“Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing that we know about living.”

We need to be quickly about the business of reversing that trend. So, read, laugh, enjoy, and think today.









Dictionary of Human Behavior

  • Evidence – a set of facts neatly arranged and carefully worded to support your  point of view.
  • Proof – “independent” verification of  your evidence by those who share your point of view.
  • Truth – the set of evidence and proof you are not willing to part with no matter how much evidence and proof others presents to counter it.
  • Lies – the label given to any evidence or proof contradicts or disagrees with your point of view.
  • Traitor – the label given to others who present legitimate reasons why your point of view may not be valid. The label is a last resort to silence them.
  • Peace – a beautiful, but ultimately, impossible dream shared by children and the naive.
  • Naive – people who just can’t understand why we must kill all of them because they are a threat to the world. 
  • Hypocrisy – a word used to describe how they don’t live up to their principles without requiring a careful evaluation of how closely you live up to yours.
  • Sinner – the practicioners of any system (political, religious, or otherwise) that does not precisely conform to your point of view.
  • Evil – a label used to describe the practicioners of other systems used to rally support among us for attacking them.
  • Nuclear war – 1) a war making use of highly destructive devices designed with the extinction of your opponent in mind. 2) The unthinking person’s answer to every world problem as in, “We should just nuke’em.” 
  • Enemy – see Them.
  • Me – the center of the universe where all truth resides. An individual ego structure that gives  you the unalienable right to believe that your nation, religion, political system, culture, family, needs, wants, or dreams are of more value than those of others on the planet simply because they are yours.
  • Us – we (as opposed to them) those who look, think, believe, and were, by fate, born in the same place as you. A group ego structure confident of its complete and eternal superiority to them. A group thus blessed because of its good fortune to have had you born in it or join it.
  • Them – see Enemy. Those who look, think, believe, and were, by fate, born some place different than you. They are lesser than us and should conform to our world view of the world or face the destruction they deserve.
  • Religion – an institution invoking God as the final arbiter to prove the superiority of everything about you and us over the inferiority of everything about them.
  • Politics – an instrument used for implementing your point of view as the official policy of a political entity up to and including the entire world.
  • Justice – the justified act of exacting revenge upon them by us as redress for a real or perceived wrong.
  • Murder – the unjustified act of exacting revenge upon us by them as redress for a real or perceived wrong.

Now, I can already sense fingers starting to rise and point at the opposition and the words, “BUT, THEY…” forming on your lips. Fine. That is working well for us. Let’s keep it up. In another generation or two (maybe sooner), that should have us and them nose to nose ready to unleash nuclear, biological, or chemical war on each other.

General Bradley has another famous quote that is applicable here, “We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the sermon on the mount.” Was he right or was he wrong?

There are four camps that allow this situation to persist and put all of us in peril. Keep in mind that both them and us have all of these factions.

  1. Profiteers – those who profit from the global war economy and see profit as superior to an end to human suffering.
  2. Partisans – those who really, honestly believe that our problems will be solved by killing all of them.
  3. Moral High Grounders – by far the largest group, these are the enablers of the first two groups. It usually derives some benefit from the status quo (economic, political, or spiritual).  This group recognizes the problem I’m describing but sees no options. This group doesn’t really think peace is possible. It has really bought into the idea that they get up in the morning with nothing more on their minds than to hurt us. We have no option but defend ourselves. However, this group sticks to the moral high ground that, “We will put our weapons down and stop killing them right after they put their weapons down and stop killing us.”
  4. Activists this is the small group of people in every society who recognize the precipice we dance upon.  This group speaks and acts to wake the other three groups. This group goes by names like reformer, protestor, social commentator, poet, prophet, sage, writer, radical. Generally, they are people ridiculed by the status quo for daring to challenge it. Others are discouraged from joining or thinking such blaphemous thoughts about the established order.

Albert EinsteinAlbert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them.”

The U.S., China, or Russia cannot solve these problems by adding another $100 billion to their “defense” budgets and engage in a “surge” to solve these problems. This problem is not just caused by “Muslim extremists”, “American imperialism”, or “UN inaction”.

It is a crisis, as it has been from the beginning, of the human heart. It is a crisis created because our fears are bigger than our dreams. It is a crisis driven by the belief that killing each other is simpler than co-existing and respecting. It is a crisis that will only be solved by thinking at a level beyond the thinking that created it.

The stakes for the planet and for our species are huge! We are facing change or extinction – plain and simple. The problems are large, but the promise that lies within each human heart dwarfs them. The cumulitive promise of 6 billion human hearts is incalculable.

I know only this, in closing, if 6 billion people decided today that we wanted a different world. We would have it in an instant. Why shouldn’t we?

Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

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