A Culture of Compassion and Dialogue – Day 272 of 365 Days to a Better You

Say something, do something, or be someone I don’t like and I’ll flame you, unfollow you, or even block you. If I REALLY don’t like what you said, I may seek to enlist others to ruin your career or even cancel you from our culture.

I reserve the right not to expose myself to ideas that challenge my worldview. If you cross that line, I reserve the right to destroy you. It doesn’t matter to me if you’re a famous celebrity or a long-lost friend from elementary school.

Meanwhile, I also reserve the right to be completely hypocritical about how and when I apply these standards, if they’re violated by political, religious, or cultural heroes of mine and it causes me too much cognitive dissonance to apply my standards to them, I’ll ignore and defend them to my last tweet.

This is the mindset of what some have called “Cancel Culture” or what I’ve called for years the Unfollow, Unfriend Culture. Social media, with it’s ability to block or delete someone with a single click, has simplified this, as have prevalent cultural mindsets that subdivide human beings into real and false tribes. Either agree with me 100 percent or I’m instantly clicking you out of my life.

What all of this really is, in my humble opinion, is the mindset of an infantile ego. It’s a small child stamping her feet to get her way. It is not the mindset that creates a compassionate, free, or democratic society where dialogue happens. It’s a recipe to further and further divide us into smaller and smaller circles ending with us being alone and ruled by that childish ego.

We’ve given this brand of ego the ability to create its own despotic fiefdom in our minds.

Is this the enlightened society we want? Do you REALLY want to disown your cousin or your best friend from second grade because he or she voted for someone different or fails one of your cultural litmus tests? What of their humanity? What of yours?

Is it really sound judgment to dismiss people that way? Think how complex and contradictory you are. Shouldn’t they be given the same slack?

I absolutely believe this mindset is an existential threat to critical thinking, freedom, and the compassionate society we must be building in the 21st century. I run several Facebook pages. I’ve never blocked one person, even when they’ve been disrespectful to me. Instead, I try to remind them of their humanity and mine and reestablish that connection. I’ve been instantly blocked on Twitter for daring to disagree, but I’ve never blocked one person. I simply don’t believe in it. Free speech gives other people the right to disagree even with my most cherished ideals. I never forget their humanity or that freedom because my ego is bruised.

This kind of culture only persists because we allow it to. If the social norm was to think of everyone you encounter as a free human being who is where they are in their journey based on their experiences just like us, maybe we’d have more compassion and understanding for their position.

I want to close today with an affirmation of sorts; a kind of pledge. Are you willing?

Affirmation: I refuse to participate in a culture that demeans, dismisses, and cancels other human beings. I’m beautiful, but far from perfect myself. I choose to see that beauty and accept that imperfection in others. I don’t know everything and I haven’t experienced everything. I accept that others can look at life and reach different, reasonable positions from mine. I reserve the right to dialogue respectfully with others in an attempt to persuade them, in the best tradition of a free society. However, I refuse to strip them of their humanity or diminish mine in that process. A sane, enlightened world is possible and I will do my part to bring that world to life.

I love and respect each and every one of you. No matter how similar or disparate our experiences or our views. Namaste and Aloha. I bow to greatness in you and I come to you with respect

Ray

Website | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Support Us

Box? What box? – Day 266 of 365 Days to a Better You

This photo was shared by my friend, Becky Sivley, over on Facebook this morning.

We’ve all heard the phrase – think outside the box. It’s generally regarded as a positive aphorism. However, there’s a subtle but powerfully negative assumption in that phrase.

It assumes you’re starting in a box or that there is even a box to start in. Sure, society is constantly trying to put us in various boxes. What if we simply choose not to play?

What if, instead, we see ourselves and the people around us as genius creatives and empowered agents of this universe capable of just about anything?

Lose the box and your other limits. You don’t need them and they were likely never more than societally planted control mechanisms to begin with.

In case no one else reminds you today, you’re AMAZING you boxless wonder.

Ray

Website | YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Support Us

Your Spinach and Your Kryptonite – Day 93 of 365 Days to a Better You

What’s your spinach and what’s your Kryptonite?

Perhaps the oldest and most prolific aphorism in human experience is, “Know Thyself.” Yesterday we talked about the narratives in your life. These narratives are deeply embedded. Changing them is not a flip-of-the-switch proposition. Navigating that path to change is filled with hazards. You have to know what your “spinach” is and what your “Kryptonite” is.

Back in the day, Popeye the Sailor Man was constantly getting himself in tough spots. Just when it seemed all was lost, he’d down a can of spinach and instantly be super-charged to take on any challenge. Conversely, Superman is almost always winning until someone pulls out the one thing that can stop him – Kryptonite.

Every one of us has our proverbial spinach and Kryptonite. You must know yourself well enough to know what yours are. What feeds you and gives you practical super powers and what beats you down and defeats you every time? There’s no shame in admitting the latter…NONE. We all have our weaknesses. It just means you’re part of the human race.

Whether you’re trying to tackle a huge demon like an addiction or fine tune your plan for career success, changing your narratives is about leaning on your spinach and avoiding the triggers that spawn your Kryptonite.

Trust me, you can and many people have spent their lifetimes in therapy focusing on how to stop their Kryptonite from being their Kryptonite. They are better served and results come much faster when they focus on how eat their spinach every single day and pull on their strengths.

That’s not to say that your Kryptonite won’t bite you from time-to-time or that you should swallow feelings that need to come out. It is saying, as Rumi so eloquently asked and advised,

“When you go to a garden, do you look at thorns or flowers? Spend more time with the roses and jasmine.”

Your Kryptonite can only defeat you if you constantly take it out of the proverbial box and focus on it. If you do, you’ll continue to propagate narratives of sadness and defeat. But, if you have the persistence and the courage eat your spinach regularly, narratives can be transformed and so can your life trajectory.

Power hack: Your mission is to figure out what your spinach is.

  • Time alone?
  • Time with your kids?
  • Time at the gym?
  • Time in nature?
  • Your favorite music playlist?
  • Your affirmations?
  • Your vision board?

I’d love you to leave a comment below and let me know what your spinach is!

Just in case no one else tells you today, YOU’RE AWESOME!

Ray

 

Say Absolutely! – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday April 27, 2010

Today’s Thought:

“When failure becomes your teacher, success becomes your future.”
~ Ray Davis

Have you ever noticed the power that words have to transform people and situations? Years ago I was teasing someone at work by saying “absolutely” to every thing she said. For some reason, it put me in the habit of saying “absolutely” to things in life.

When someone would ask me a question, rather than saying yes or sure, I got in the habit of responding, “absolutely”! I became aware that my own sense of resoluteness and confidence was buoyed by saying the word. I also noticed that other people seemed to respond well to someone saying, “absolutely”.

People would comment that someone saying that word so enthusiatically was refreshing and inspiring. So, I kept doing it. Today I answer absolutely practically and metaphorically in life. I’ve found the word has a power and surety about it that people seem to want to experience.

So, here is my challenge to you. When someone asks you to do something tomorrow say enthusiastically, “absolutely”! Amid the gray, unenthusiastic responses they experience all day, your “absolutely” will stand out.

Do I guarantee it? Absolutely!

Stay inspired!

Ray

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson on Positivity – The Affirmation Spot for Tuesday February 23, 2010

Today’s Affirmation:
Today my expectations are high and my experience rises to meet those expectations.

I think it is so important for people to understand that the transformative power of positive thinking and positive emotions are more than just anecdotal experiences had by a few of us. Many in the scientific and psychological communities are working very hard to put scientific and analytical evidence behind these experiences.

While I understand that for some of my readers who have had these powerful experiences, no scientific proof is needed to validate your experiences. There are many people in this world who have trained or are by nature trusting only of empirical data.

Dr. Barbara Fredrickson is one of the leading voices and researchers in the field of positive psychology. Dr. Fredrickson is the Kenan Distinguised Professor of Psychology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is the Principle Investigator at the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Lab at UNC.

In 2009, Dr. Fredrickson published Positivity, an easy-to-read and use primer for anyone looking to bring the experience of positive emotion into his or her life.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with Dr. Frederick describing her work. This is Part 3 of 3. The other two segments can also be found on YouTube.

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!”

Dreams Affirmations – The Affirmation Spot for Friday February 19, 2010

Today’s Affirmation Topic: Dreams

  • I am the engine of my dreams. My dreams never give up on
  • me and I never give up on them!
  • I dream my dreams to live them not just to dream them!
  • My dreams are the fuel that powers me to my destination! Today I choose to follow them!
  • I am here on this planet to live not just think about living. Today I take bold action on my dreams!
  • Today I am converting the energy of my dreams into the momentum of action!
  • I am the creator and manifestor of my dreams! Today I am making them come true!
  • Today I allow my dreams to do the driving rather than my doubts!
  • Today I live the life of my dreams while I’m awake!
  • I am absolutely committed to my dreams! Today I make sure
    they don’t get lost in the shuffle of life.
  • My dreams are coming true each and every day!

Stay inspired and keep dreaming!

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!”

Love Is The Ultimate Affirmation – The Affirmation Spot for Monday February 15, 2010

Some of you will remember the great Leo Buscaglia and some may ask who? Dr. Leo Buscaglia was a motivational speaker before everyone was a motivational speaker. This long-time special education professor at USC was famous for his passionate belief in love and the potential of human beings.

Today I am sharing the final two parts of a 10-part video posted on YouTube of Dr. Buscaglia speaking in Wisconsin some time during the 1980s. The speech was called Love: The Ultimate Affirmation. The video is dated, but the message is as fresh and needed as this morning’s headlines.

Love: The Ultimate Affirmation Part 9 of 10

Love: The Ultimate Affirmation Part 10 of 10

Stay inspired!

Ray

2010 Affirmation

“2010 is OUR year! This is the year we break free! This is the year we break through! This is the year we break out!”