Saturday, February 14, 2009

Know Your Enemies? Why?

The word "enemy" left my mindset decades ago. I don't know who convinced me, but I excised this social tumor from my vocabulary. I may dislike what people occasionally say, do, or how they act. I may be disappointed with myself, at times. Those who oppose my opinion may be temporarily ignorant or I, the same. Perhaps, they are reasonable, yet unwilling to listen. Why consider those who occassionally disturb me, an enemy? We just disagreed or had some disappointing moment. Why not forgive and move on?

At times, it may seem silly to me how other people dress. I may dislike what some may say, do, or think on one topic or another. I may take offense when people forget to pick up after their dog. Someone may callously drop their Dorito Bags on our front lawn. However, why hate a person, when what they do bothers you, not who they are? Manners are fleeting. I hope that my children never despise, envy, or hate others. I choose to have no enemies. Frankly, I can't afford them. Are enemies for the more affluent? Are enemies for the more shortsighted?

There are probably people intent on labeling us. I hope that I never aggravate anyone, even if I agree to disagree on one issue or another. This is bound to happen. There is no one in any of the communities which I consider myself among, who I will ever consider an enemy. These folks may be upset and may demonize us. I may also feel overlooked, at times. However, some of us are more isolated at times than others.

I know that it is natural for all of us to be 'occasionally' envious, even jealous, of the success of others. This is particularly true when we are frustrated, but misdirecting hostility. However, I would rather overcome envy and learn from success stories. Also, share in someone's happiness without appearing like a leach.

There are times where I will be excluded. I will also appear to have bad mannners at some odd moment. Those who wear tinted lenses may criticize yet display the same unknowing flaws. We all leave our manners at the door, at times. I don't hold grudges. The expression "it is like the pot calling the kettle black" sums up the hypocrisy of life. Righteous indignation comes full circle, so I would rather be humble. I would rather make friends out of those who might consider me an enemy. Yet, I accept that regardless of my efforts, this may never happen.

Decisions are made and commitments, as well. The reason why I try to maintain my 'relative obscurity' is due to the less outspoken in my family; also the desire to maintain relative privacy. In the effort to reach out to old acquaintances and friends, I try to honor my spouse who thinks it important to be discreet. There is a tenuous compromise. There are people who fear others due to their obscurity. In doing so, they may choose to view us as enemies, rather than potential friends or good neighbors.

No one is perfect. I am sure that I occasionally upset others. Public examples of hypocrisy are embarrassing to public figures, but it comes with the salary. Only the most pompous are incapable of accepting and recognizing. I would rather work toward eliminating flaws. Impulse and unconscious actions are often misunderstood.

Hatred is alien and evil to me. The terms "enemy" and "hate" seem like terms for those who are incapable of burying the hatchet any place other than in another person's back. Two wrongs don't make a right. My hatchet is in the ground when I am done with the verbal woodshed and it usually stays there. If I am mistaken, I retract. Why miss out on opportunities due to petty indifferences? I am too busy trying to deal with the priorities in our lives then to consider anyone an enemy.

There will always be those who are unable or just won't care about us, some who are too busy, and others who will and express it. Why close the door unless there is actual danger, not just ignorance, misdirected enmity, or anxiety. Shalom.

1 comment:

Thomas Westgard said...

The length of time one is willing to hold a grudge is partly about what the other person did, and partly one's own willingness to nurse the grudge. Some people are simply willing to spend more of their lives in the Grudge Zone.

There is also the ability to create opportunity out of new situations. Some people rapidly arrive at "How do I make the best of this," while others stay longer in "That wasn't fair."