One Strike Zone or Having a Moral Compass – Day 279 of 365 Days to a Better You

Whether you believe in astrology or not, I am the very embodiment of my sun sign. Being a Libra, I’m cursed with the perpetual need for balance, justice, and fairness. I mean, heck, our symbol is the scales, right?

My brand of justice is not harsh or judgmental. It is, however, fair to a fault. I call it having one strike zone. Others might call it having a consistent moral compass.

In the games of baseball and softball, there’s something call a strike zone. It’s the rule-defined area above home plate and between the knees and shoulders of each batter where a strike will be called on the batter whether he swings or not. It’s the same for each, batter based on his or her height.

I use a similar principle when I evaluate ideas, political positions, or moral actions. My strike zone for your words and actions is the same whether I like you or agree with you or not. My strike zone isn’t expanded for people I like and contracted for people I don’t. My view is that would be gross hypocrisy on my part.

Experience, though tells me not every operates that way. For many people, it’s hard to separate their personal feelings about a person or idea from the person or idea. Further, they tend to give those they like a massive ethical strike zone, while granting opponents a tiny or even non-existent strike zone.

You know these people. Their religion has all the truth. Their political party is always right and virtuous and the opposition party wrong and evil; even when we’re talking about actions that are precisely the same. The call that goes against their sports team is always wrong and the one that worked in their favor is always right.

You must know that for we Libras, this is practically human malpractice. LOL. Beyond my personal distaste for the inability to be objective, in keeping with my Libra credo, it’s very damaging to our society and out individual lives.

This mindset allows:

  1. “Our” corruption to persist, while “Their” corruption is pursued to the bitter end.
  2. People to be harsh, cold, and uncaring about people not in their circle of agreement.
  3. Us to miss good ideas and adopt bad ones because of WHO proposed it.
  4. Division in a way that makes dialogue, compromise, and resolving big issues nearly impossible.

Sound like any society you know? All of this occurs in an environment when people see only sides and feel a need to defend their side even to the point of absurdity, while attacking the other side to the same extreme degree.

My goal is not to point fingered in this post. If you’re a Libra or Libra-like in this way, you’re probably not contributing to this. However, if you see yourself, your social media interactions, or personal interactions in what I’m saying, I’d humbly ask you to reassess.

It doesn’t mean you have to lose your passion. I’m one of the most passionate people I know. I simply refuse to allow my passion to stop me from seeing the other sides in a debate, giving them their point while taking mine, and working toward harmony and solutions instead of just another partisan argument where tired old talking points are trotted out in lieu of working toward an answer.

One strike zone…it’s where justice, integrity, and ethical consistency hang out. If you’re not quite there now, it’s a very worthy aspiration.

In case no one told you today, you ARE amazing!

Ray

Ray
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The “I” Problem

Today’s Thought:
The tribe says, “Pick a side.” The wise say, “Been there. Done that.”

We awaken each day with a default setting that we are the center of the universe. That mindset is represented by the word “I”. “I want this” and “I want that”. “I think this” and “I think that”. “I believe this” and “I believe that”.

Generally, the thought “I” (or we) immediately creates a thought “they”. We differentiate “them” from me/we based on a myriad of superficial appearances and differences of opinion – religious classifications, political classifications, ethnic classifications, status classifications, physical characteristics, and gender differences.

We create whole mental frameworks around these differences, always with the base assumption that me/we are correct and “they” are incorrect. Why do you support a certain sports team? More than likely, it’s because you were born in a certain city or your family has ties to that city. There is nothing inherently better about the Yankees or the Red Sox. What creates that distinction is “I”. You, your mindsets, your filters are the only difference between the two.

From this mental framework, we create a moral code that says me/we is good and “they” are bad. Our belief system is not only correct, it is the only correct belief system. That makes your belief system wrong. Show me one Muslim who thinks Christians are have it right and Muslims have it wrong. Show me one Republican who thinks Democrats have it right and Republicans have it wrong. Show me one Chinese citizen who thinks the disputed islands with Japan really belong to Japan or vice versa.

What makes the Yankees better than the Red Sox, Islam better than Christianity, Republicans better than Democrats, China more entitled to some islands than Japan? With rare exception, it has to do with who you are, who your family is, where you were born. Your “I” became indoctrinated by Hinduism, Red Sox fan, Japanese, or Democrat by the people around you.

Your tribe passed those mindsets on to you and you consciously or unconsciously adopted them. They all became part of your “I”. And where did the tribe get them? Well, they received them through the same process. Generation after generation believing something “because we always have”.

This all kicks in automatically each morning with our first thought….”I”. This unconscious acceptance of “my/our way” over “your way” has been the human norm for thousands of years. Teachers have periodically come along and taught bigger, broader ideas about who we are in the world, but the tribe generally persecutes and eventually does away with such heretics.

The only way to improve ourselves in this regard is to become conscious of the process. We must carefully and consciously choose our “I” and allow others the freedom to choose theirs too. It’s inevitable that we will not all agree. ” But, you know what? It’s amazing how much evil disappears from our world when we stop counting those who simply disagree with us as evil.

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

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams.

He is the author of the Anunnaki Awakening series (2015). Book 1 – Revelation – is now available in paperback and on Kindle. This trilogy takes Ancient Aliens out of the past and into the present. An interstellar, interdimensional journey ensues with humanity’s future hanging in the balance.

We Still Have a Dream – The Affirmation Spot for Monday January 18, 2010

Today’s Affirmation:

“I believe in the future of humanity. I believe our species’ most prosperous, peaceful, and enlightened times are ahead. I am living my life in a way that turns that belief into reality.”

Today I am recognizing the celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday. As has become tradition on this blog, I am doing so by posting the video of Dr. King’s famous “I Have A Dream” speech delivered August 28, 1963.

While Dr. King’s speech was aimed at the specific circumstances in The United States in the early 1960s, its message is timeless and transcendent. The speech’s contemporary appeal is attributable to universal message of hope for a better world and a better us. It dares each of to look into our hearts and measure ourselves according to a clear and powerful vision of what can be – what must become – on this planet.

I think its message is worthwhile to periodically watch, absorb, and share with those too young to remember those times and too young to yet understand our times.

It is a message that needs to be heard in Israel and Gaza, Pakistan and India, Iraq and Afghanistan, and, yes, in the halls of power in Washington, London, Moscow, Beijing, and at the UN in New York.

Nothing is more certain than that the people of this planet long and deserve to be free. They long to be free to pursue their goals, their dreams in their way.

In too many places, man’s inhumanity to man remains the rule of the day. Let us – all six billion of us – heed Dr. King’s wise words. Let us create a new dream where we learn live in peaceful disagreement and a spirit of sharing rather than in mutual disrespect, anger, and conflict . Let us create a world where we work together to bring about justice.

Then, we too, can say, “Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty. We’re fee at last.”


Runtime is 17:57

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!”

Message from the Desk of God

Today’s Thought:

If your God tells you to harm others for your cause, you need a new God.

Child watching the fireAs I surf the web most days, it’s nearly impossible to avoid stories of angry human beings doing hateful and harmful things to their neighbors. Conflicts that are ethnic or religious in nature seem to be seeded with particular venom and a complete loss of wisdom and common sense.

Generation after generation of “us” kills generation after generation of “them” and vice versa. Anyone in either group daring to stop and ask why or show a shred of humanity to the other side is labeled a traitor.

Of course, the Middle East represents the longest lasting and perhaps the sorriest example of this behavior. However, it is endemic to many places in the world.

I got to thinking what would God say to these people, many of whom are convinced they are doing God’s will. No, I don’t have a God complex, but I thought it might be interesting to speak directly to these angry, hurting, misguided people who refuse to put down the rock or the gun.

To all people everywhere!


loving_godDo you think Me so small that I cannot handle being called different names by different people? Do you believe Me so arrogant that I cannot handle prayers in different forms and different languages? So selfish that I would choose the friendship of one of you over another? Whatever you call Me, I shall answer.

Your anger only eats you up and wastes your life. And when it boils over, it sends you out to kill, sometimes with weapons and sometimes with words. You rally around those who speak of violence and “solving our problems by eradicating ‘them’.”

You swirl around such words like sharks in a feeding frenzy and then you run off and do things in My name that I have explicitly asked you not to do. You commit suicide to kill others and think it brings you closer to me. Ridiculous! You dress in uniforms like it is a game and use machines – created with the very genius I granted you – to kill innocent people and call it righteous and justified. Outrageous!

When you kill and hate in My name you had better find the person – religious leader, politician, whoever taught you this – and tell them this IS NOT My teaching or My will. They have taken their hatred and prejudice and projected it off as God’s will. This is utter nonsense!

My children, you are never far from Me. Your “enemy” is never far from Me. I allow you all to rest your weary heads on My cloak. As you sleep, I see your dreams. THEY ARE THE SAME DREAMS! I weep because I know when you awake you will try again to steal the dream from each other. The dream is big enough for everyone. The world is big enough for everyone.

These are YOUR thoughts again. You are not closer to Me here than you are there. I AM THAT I AM and I AM EVERYWHERE.

Everywhere and every time I have ever communicated with humanity (in your scriptures, through another person, in your own heart and mind) I have taught you to love each other, to share with each other, to live in peace with each other. If that is not the message you received, you are NOT following a true teacher.

I have sent my teachers in whom I am well-pleased to teach you how to live together and you have twisted their words and used them as a means to tear yourselves apart.

You think you must send others to hell so you can go to heaven. Where do you get this stuff? Certainly, not from Me!

STOP IT!

You are all brothers and sisters, sharing a planet, sharing a common life experience. Your commonalities are vastly greater and more important than your differences. Yet, you seek out the differences and despise each other for them.

I see, now, that I made your desire to be right too strong. You would rather be right and think all others wrong than simply accept MY teaching to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.

Your true potential will be forever hidden as long as you find only reason to hate. Follow your dreams rather than your hatred. Live together as brothers and sisters and give up all claims to the only truth, to your self-righteousness, and to Me.

I am big enough to accept all of you. You created the walls where none existed, now you must tear them down and live as ONE!


This is my word. Amen.

God

cc: all departments
cc: all human beings where ever they may be

Ray Davis is the Founder of The Affirmation Spot and focuses on empowering minds to think positively, achieve goals, and live dreams.

anunnaki_cover_full_colorRay’s 2015 speculative fiction novel, Anunnaki Awakening: Revelation, is turning heads. Where did humanity really come from and where is it going? This is Book 1 of a trilogy. The Awakening has begun!

Learn more about the trilogy and order your signed copy today at AATrilogy.com.

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

Thank you for visiting The Affirmation Spot. Your comments on the blog or this article are always welcome. What do you think? Please click here to comment on today’s blog.




ray_launchpad.jpgDownload 2 Affirmations, Get 1 Free!

Take your positive thoughts with you wherever you go. During the month of March Download any two mp3 affirmations from The Affirmation Spot.com and get a third mp3 affirmation free.There are no limits! Simply type the word “blog” into the coupon field at checkout. Thanks for getting your audio affirmations at The Affirmation Spot! Click here to view, hear excerpts, or download affirmations.

Today’s featured affirmation is:

“My world is what I make of it and I choose to make it a peaceful place to be.”
Download an audio mp3 version of this affirmation right now.


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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Changing Our Minds, Changing the World – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday March 4, 2008

Thank you for visiting The Affirmation Spot. Your comments on the blog or this article are always welcome. What do you think? Please click here to comment on today’s blog.




ray_launchpad.jpgWhat Ray’s reading right now:

April and I are reading A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. This is the latest Oprah’s Book Club selection. Oprah and the author Eckhart Tolle are hosting a 10-week online course covering this book began last night Monday March 3. They recommend reading the book before the class. You can register for free at Oprah.com



Big March MP3 Affirmation Sale!

Take your positive thoughts with you wherever you go. During the month of March Download any two mp3 affirmations from The Affirmation Spot.com and get a third mp3 affirmation free. There are no limits! You can download 20 and get 10 free. Simply type the word “blog” into the coupon field at checkout. Thanks for getting your audio affirmations at The Affirmation Spot! Click here to view, hear excerpts, or download affirmations.

Today’s featured affirmation is:

“I make my world. My world is what I make of it and I choose to make it a just place to be.”
Download an audio mp3 version of this affirmation right now.



Someone recently asked me what I thought some of the biggest challenges are to changing the planet. I think among the greatest challenges we face in changing the world (at least in the United States) is our federal government and the mainstream media.

Motives are always difficult to infer, but results can be analyzed. It has become clear to me is that there are people in powerful places who have a vested interest in keeping all of us divided, disempowered, and dependent upon them. The biggest tranquilizer they use to keep us frozen is fear.

Certainly, there are individuals in this world who seek to terrorize others, there is a global warming trend happening, and there is always the threat of a global pandemic. The problem is when “leaders” overstate the threat to keep people in a constant state of panic. As the peoples’ power weakens, the leaders’ power grows. It’s a simple formula and one you should consider before giving your power away in exchange for some promised benefit – health, security, or others.

bush.gif“Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof — the smoking gun — that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”
~ President George W. Bush, October 6, 2002 making the case for attacking Iraq

However, our friends in government and the media like to seize on these realities, magnify them immensely, and use them as a mechanism of control. This can only happen when people respond with irrational fear.

If we can train ourselves to take the next step and ask the next question; we can return reason, wisdom, and thoughtfulness to the discussion of these issues. We can determine just and sound courses of action.

“When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”
~ David Roberts, Grist Magazine Staff Writer describing what ought to happen to people who deny global warming.

First, serious conversation about serious change cannot happen in an environment where this kind of incendiary rhetoric is the core level of the discussion. Whatever motives people have when they say these things, the net result is to discourage debate, disempower people to think or act for themselves, and force ill-considered solutions — that generally require more insitutional control of our lives.

No one in human history has ever been more empowered by giving their power and freedoms to government for safekeeping.

My own feeling is that, if we are to unite and change the world, we first have to empower ourselves by taking back control of our own thoughts. We must be more unwilling to be manipulated by the constant influx of fear-mongering that streams into our consciousness 24/7. We must be less willing to believe the fear merchants who sell us chicken little along with miracle pills and minivans.

This constant diet of fear warps our minds towards isolation and makes it impossible to evaluate real threats. It also creates dissention and dehumanizes other people, groups, and ideas by globalizing the threat represented by a few.

We can short-circuit their ability to control us by becoming strong, empowered individuals. This represents a first step towards uniting to change the world. Without that element, we are simply a large group of disempowered dependents clinging to each other in a world we do not believe we have the power to change.

The second thing we need is compassion. We have to understand that even after we “get it” not everyone else is going to right away. It is easy to become frustrated at the pace of change and give up. We have to allow others to wake up at their own pace. You cannot force these things and sometimes trying only makes it worse.

Here are a few practical ways to stop the fear merchants in their tracks and maintain the integrity of your own thoughts and common sense.

  1. There are at least two sides to every issue – find them research them and come to your own conclusions.
  2. Ask what the speaker has to gain by spreading the fear? What are his or her interests in having you believe there is a dire threat?
  3. Think for yourself. Make it a habit not to just believe something because everyone else believes it. This kind of herd mentality is a form of control and is the arch enemy of your ability to think for yourself.
  4. Take active steps to combat the fear with hope and positivity. Affirmations, meditation, prayer, or just a few quiet moments help you to calm your mind and replace the fear advertising with thoughts you want to think.
  5. Look at the past. Have those spreading the fear been right in the past? What is their track record of credibility?
  6. Know who you are and be who you are. A strong person who is certain of their own mind, their own goals, but willing to let other be the same is the most powerful agent for change there is.

If we are the master of our own thoughts, empowered, and compassionate, we can, indeed, change the world. We can be our own person and not get caught up in “The Matrix” being spun every day by our leaders in government and the media.

We the people are and must be the source of power in this world…not government, not media, and certainly not an unaudited commercial scientocracy.

Be peaceful Be positive Be prosperous!

Ray

The Affirmation Spot.com

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I Have a Dream – The Affirmation Spot for Friday January 17, 2008

This coming Monday we celebrate the birthday of a great man. Like most great people he is either loved (by the overwhelming majority of people) or hated (by a small minority). Great people always inspire us to have an opinion about them. In the humble opinion of this writer, Martin Luther King, Jr. was a great man.

Regardless of whether or not you agreed with his politics he was somone who had conviction. He stood against tremendous injustice. There was a great hypocrisy in our land in his day. A hypocrisy that had gone on too long. He stood up to be a leader and he paid the ultimate price for it.

Few people had a greater influence on modern America than this man. Today, through the magic of YouTube, I am able to share his most famous and, I believe, his crowning moment.

The day is August 28, 1963. 250,000 Americans gathered on the mall in Washington D.C. to listen to Dr. King's speech. Little did they know they were about to hear perhaps the greatest speech ever.

Four and a half decades later his words still inspire. His dream is still an aspiration. His vision is still the future we can all share as soon as we choose that course.


Runtime is 17:57

Your challenges may not be as big, but remember that anything is possible when you "have a dream".

Be peaceful Be prosperous!

Ray

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