In a time when the US is extremely divided, I thought I’d talk about this subject. A little wisdom would help both sides of this conflict.
I’m going to be married soon, and there’s really only two other people on this entire planet that I want to be there when it happens. I call them ‘Aunt Lana’ and ‘Uncle Larry’ even though they’ve technically never been my aunt and uncle. I’ve known them for 23 years, which is 92% of my entire life, and apart from just always having been there, they are wonderful people. They taught me the value and importance of love from an early age, they’ve never disappointed me nor turned their backs on me. Honestly, if by chance they couldn’t make it to my wedding on the day of, I would postpone it to a day they could make it. Yes, they are that important to me.
A few years ago I was having lunch with them, and I told them about how my brother and sister still insist on antagonizing me for no real reason. Aunt Lana told me, “Zak, some people are just like that and there’s nothing you can do about it. I’ve run in to people I haven’t seen in 30 years and they still hold petty grudges against me from things that happened in high school.”
This showed me something. I consider Aunt Lana and Uncle Larry to be the most amazing people I’ve ever known, and still, SOMEHOW, there are people out there in the world who dislike them because of stupid drama shit from decades ago. No matter who you are, whether you’ve always been that way or recently became that way, there will always be people who love you and people who disdain you.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about people I don’t like, which is (surprise surprise) most people in general. Then, in turn, I started thinking about people who don’t like me, which (surprise surprise) there are plenty of. I honestly understand why many people wouldn’t like me. I’m extremely opinionated (which is foolishly interpreted by many to mean that I’m arrogant or narcissistic), and most people misinterpret my stoic exterior to mean that I’m an emotionless sociopath. But even if that were true, which it certainly isn’t, I know I’ve never done anything evil. I’ve never killed, raped, assaulted, blackmailed, humiliated, scammed, or threatened anyone in my life. And what kinds of things do I believe and vehemently stand for? Equality for everyone, no matter what your ethnicity, sexuality, or even religion. Doesn’t mean I like every lifestyle out there, but I still try to stand up for them. So, call it arrogant, but I honestly don’t think anyone has any real, legitimate reason to dislike me as a person. Perhaps my methods for handling things, but not me as a person.
Still, unfortunately, no matter who you are, you will have enemies. Even Jesus, a fictional character, was betrayed by his followers and those he healed, advised, and taught. Now, by “enemies” I don’t mean people who want you dead or who you want dead. Civilized, sane people don’t think that way. What I mean by “enemies” is people who go out of their way to stay away from you and/or actively oppose you and oppose what you stand for.
For example, my best friend. I love him to death, but unfortunately, he and I are still enemies. We don’t try to ruin the other’s life in any way. We hang out like good friends do, most of the time we don’t argue or even disagree on things, but at the end of the day, he is a devout Christian and I’m a militant atheist. So, even though he and I are friends (for 10 years now), and get along great, we are still enemies underneath the surface. He believes and preaches something I think is evil, and he feels the same way about my atheism. A strange kind of enemy. A frenemy.
Despite the fact we all have enemies, for the various reasons people do, I do not believe enemies should be hated. In a way, I think enemies are good for us. Enemies give us resistance, and nothing makes a person grow and improve better than resistance. Like building a muscle. To build muscle, you use heavy weights, or you stress your body with cardio. Same goes with enemies, both the ones in your life, and the ones who aren’t.
On this blog I’ve talked about my exes multiple times. Not as often as Donald Trump, but still occasionally. Now, to people who dislike/hate me, it’s easy to assume that it’s because I still have feelings for them, even though that’s laughably false. There’s this guy I used to know named Kyle, who I haven’t talked about on this blog, but if/when I do, I will remember how angry just the mere memory of him makes me. Same goes with Donald Trump, and my exes, and even some family members of mine. These people are my enemies. Again, that doesn’t mean I hope bad things happen to them, it simply means these people freely do things I think are wrong and I stand against it.
Kyle wasn’t really a friend, but was someone I couldn’t avoid because he was friends with many of my friends, and he cheated on his girlfriend with a minor and got that minor pregnant. Not to mention, Kyle never regretted or even acknowledged what he did. He was a pathological liar. Enemy.
My father not only admitted, but laughed about and bragged about getting away with killing 2 people. One of my older brothers is a pedophile, among other disgusting acts that are too numerous to list. My mother got knocked up multiple times and didn’t care to raise her children, nor see her children after they grew up. All enemies.
And going back to the subject of my exes, both of them are disgusting to me. Enemies.
Do I regret knowing any of these people? Of course not. Do I have ill-will against any of them? No I do not.
Again, “enemy” in this article means people who openly and freely do things that go against one’s moral code.
I never forget the people who have had huge impacts on me, both in a good and bad way. I think in general we need to remember the lessons we learn from people. Being doomed to repeat history doesn’t only apply to society, it applies to individuals. Also, remembering the wrongs people have done to others, and to you, is also a lesson, and a reminder of that lesson, of how to never become like them. We need to hate immoral behaviors. Once you become complacent to wrongdoing, you will find yourself naturally imitating those behaviors.
Hate stealing, so that you can’t justify yourself ever doing it. Hate murder, so that no matter much you’re consumed with hate or revenge, you never do that as well. Same goes with every single other evil act out there in the world.
As another example, I hate Donald Trump’s bigotry, his encouraging of others to be violent, etc. But no matter how much I hate the fact he’s going to be president, I still choose not to be a bigot toward his supporters, and I condemn people who have violently protested his election.
Enemies teach us what not to do, equally as much as friends teach us what to do. The most important lesson in regards to this subject is: never hate your enemies, because that does turn you into them. Hating white people for their long history of persecuting minorities, and wishing for their extermination because of it, makes you EXACTLY like them. This may not sound very common, but I’m a liberal, which means I hear what liberals say on a regular basis, and I hear this evil shit frequently from them.
Hate the act, not the person. When you hate your enemies, it clouds your judgment.
Don’t cheat on your girlfriend/boyfriend just because they did it to you. Don’t go hunting cops because you heard about a cop killing a black person.
Be above your enemies. Don’t let them drag you down to their level. Look at them to see and remember how low the bar can go, and why you don’t ever want to go down there.
This is why I often talk about things/people that have wronged me or others. I learned things from them, and sometimes, through hindsight I continue to learn things from them. And I will always keep these lessons in mind. I share these stories because perhaps they can help others not be like these people as well.
But also, be wise about who you deem to be someone who has a lifestyle you oppose. Sometimes, we think of people (either consciously or emotionally) as enemies when they shouldn’t be thought of in that way. Like the people who still, for some reason, dislike my Aunt Lana and Uncle Larry. Sometimes people don’t deserve it. And if someone does, in your mind, deserve to be deemed an ‘enemy’ in your mind, don’t treat them as such. Be better than them. Love when they hate, give encouragement when they are spiteful, and be gentle when they are inflicting wounds. Don’t be a pushover, but don’t be an asshole either.
The best way to deal with enemies is not through aggression or opposition, but through wisdom. Be wise, not a savage.