An enemy makes you a better person.
It is a pure and simple argument, shocking even. In most matters of the heart, the concept of darkness is a complicated one. However, the art of having an enemy is as pure and as ancient as time itself. We need enemies to challenge us, to be the catalysts towards striving for our goals, and to help us remember what it is we believe in. If you were ever unsure of who you are and what you wanted, the enemy will help you abruptly discover what you are not, what you do not want, and furthermore, who’s in your god damn way.
Before we go any further, I should define what an enemy is. There is no gray here; there is no halfway. Identifying an enemy in your life is a spirited and passionate endeavor. You can’t explain why, but seeing your enemy suffer or fail makes your laughter so much more spellbinding, so much more entertaining- so much more vivacious. It’s like breathing sunshine. If you can’t identify an enemy in your life you are either a blind idiot, or have been living a more-than sheltered existence. And yes, you may be someone’s enemy as well – and if you don’t have an enemy, well then you really just aren’t fucking trying in life are you?
There are really two distinct types of enemies. The arch enemy, and the arch nemesis, also known as “frenemy”.
The arch enemy disgusts you- they make your skin crawl. You want to see them suffer and burn with every wholesome fiber in your body, and nothing would delight you more than to watch them be impaled by acid-spewing lasers. The more blood, the better… The more napalm the better! Even more titillating is the idea that their demise would be at your hands. Hardly an apathetic reaction to a person, the arch enemy brings your base urges out to play, and creates resentment in your soul that murder is in fact a crime. If you could have it your way, just one little get-out-of-jail-free card… bam! You’d be at their front door with bells on and a fire-thrower.
The arch nemesis or “frenemy” is a bit more complicated. In fact, it’s a bit of a cop out by traditional standards. These are folks you just haven’t “enemy-outed” to the full extent yet- folks you seemingly gain or need something from. Take for example the relationship between Batman and Joker- arch enemies they are not-
Batman is fascinated with Joker, in fact, he needs him to the extent that he provides Batman with purpose. The same goes for Joker- Batman gives him tyrannical pleasure- and to a lesser extent, a challenge. They both exhibit a symbiotic, fucking retarded relationship – or in other words, are arch nemesis’. Another intriguing characteristic of the arch nemesis is that you are equals, which equates to a faint respect- an eye for an eye if you will. You respect their talent, their ability to artfully get under your skin and sabotage any plans you may have had, instilling in you rage, and a subtle resentment because you didn’t think of it first. Damn them. Damn them to hell. In essence, you may admire them. But that thought is swiftly annihilated by your next plot to one-up them. It’s quite the love-hate relationship we have here. As Friedrich Nietzsche once exclaimed, “Whoever lives for the sake of combating an enemy has an interest in the enemy's staying alive.” Too bad for you Robin.
Now that we have the definitions cleared up, let’s go over some reasons as to why having an enemy is good for you.
The enemy is a catalyst for action.
In what some may call an unconscious urge, the enemy makes you want to OWN their respective ass- successfully speaking. You want to be bigger, to be better, to have the power, and the world! Ambitions charge full-steam ahead when faced with a competitor. Let me say this- no one wants to compete against someone they like. The fire of ruthless hate and relentless atrophy needs to be there! It’s beautiful, really. You haven’t tasted sweet satisfaction until you see the look on your enemy’s face when they lose- to you. This urge is amplified a gazillion times when your enemy is your coworker, on a sports team, or in an academic field. In the end, if you succeed, you will not only have the sweet ambrosia satisfaction that is defeating your enemy and smashing their ego- you also have your success. Or in other words,
“Both teachers and learners go to sleep at their post as soon as there is no enemy in the field.” (John Stuart Mill)
The enemy centers and focuses you.
As any hippy will tell you, one can’t fight and win all of the eco and social activism battles at the same time- you must pick one cause and plow through it like a blowtorch to an ice cube. The same goes for the enemy- you will never accomplish anything if you spread yourself too thin- like a greasy adolescent teenager hating the world for his awkward life and red hair… even they know it is better suited to them to blame everything on their parents. When faced with an unsavory enemy you are driven, composed, have a customized game plan, and the determination to succeed – whatever the cost. Your ruthlessness comes out to shine- possibly scaring your dog- as you demonstrate the sheer conviction you have to what you believe... and what you believe is that Peter from lecture is a total jerk. However, it must be noted that this conviction is built on a stable foundation, one that only an enemy can provide. As Daniel Abraham explains, “There's ways you can trust an enemy you can't always trust a friend. An enemy's never going to betray your trust.”
The enemy keeps you on your toes.
If there were ever a reason to refine your strategic genius, this would be the holy grail of reasons. Trying to figure out your enemy’s next move is an exciting journey- one that requires full attention, and a seething patience of sorts. It makes for a great hobby, and yes, you can finally put those chess and GO skills to use. If you like to exercise your caustic wit with purpose, don’t bother making an intellectual enemy out of the sleazy bartender dude- pick an equal who unravels your sanity as they twist your words, until you enter an abyss of greater learning and understanding. Your revelations can then be used to publically embarrass them at parties. If you don’t believe me, take it from Oscar Wilde, “I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their good intellects.” Furthermore, Your enemy helps you to develop your executive skills. Out of sheer rage, will you surprise yourself at how resourceful you become when faced with dismantling an enemy. You develop rapid-fire skills in the way of resourcefulness, out-of-box thinking, time management, organization, facilitation, and implementation of your next evil plot.
Your enemy inspires unfathomable creativity and imagination.
I’d say the most beautiful gift of having an enemy is its ability to manifest in you an ornate imagination- a fantasy world of delightful revenge. As any Scorpio will tell you, they don’t daydream, they day-revenge-dream. It’s some of their favourite moments in life. Such individuals have spent enough time vividly counting the number of tears that fell from your eyes, so that when they finally see it in real life, they relish in the beauty of it. Combined with the passion that making and taking and enemy enlists, the addition of creativity and imagination can make for some inspiring art. The more one participates in such revengeful right-brained activities, the stronger those synaptic connections get. After all, creativity is the essence of our evolution as a human race, and the substance of humanity. You can thank an enemy for helping you to refine those creative virtues within you.
“I am often thought of as being remarkably bright, and yet my brains, more often than not, are busily devising new and interesting ways of bringing my enemies to sudden, gagging, writhing, agonizing death.” (Alan Bradley)
Having an enemy can lead to spiritual and metaphysical enlightenment.
What can one learn other about truth and glory, if one does not know what ones own truth and glory is? Or better yet- what can one truly know about ones own nature, if one des not look to the shadows? Mastering the art of self-awareness through having an enemy is highly constructive. Benjamin Franklin nailed it right on the head when he advised to “Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.” Getting to intimately know the drum to which your enemy’s heart beats can conjure up a unifying revelation with ones world, and ones place within it, “In order to know your enemy, you must become your enemy” (Chris Bradford). How you adapt to the trials and tribulations that the enemy will present, can help you grow as a person.
I mean damnnnnnn- this shit is TRILL yo.
Truthfully, the world without an enemy would be a boring one indeed. There would be no heroic fights, no dawn after the great battle, no unity, no perseverance or conviction- just great passivity, and a bunch of hipsters listening to their god damn mellow folk music.
If you don’t already have the downright joy of harbouring an enemy, I suggest you open your eyes, and realize that yes, in fact you do have one, and it’s Abby from accounting that keeps stealing your lunch, or Brandon from your geography group who has been taking credit for your AutoCAD designs behind your back. If you are the meek mild type to never hurt a fly, I suggest you get your teeth sharpened and make a damn enemy. Take a stand. Many times the development of an enemy does not arise out of malice, rather, it arises out of your growing conviction to who you are. Paul Newman explains this concept nicely, “A man with no enemies is a man with no character.”
The point is that it’s natural to have an enemy. And it’s natural to be an enemy. So, stop denying the truth and stop being a wishy-washy douche. That last sentence rhymed, so it’s fucking true. Fuck, that rhymed too. And so did that! Mad inception truth!
Now get out there, be yourself, and piss a jerk off- or throw an old Twinkie at an innocent bystander – whatever works! Just do it! You may be surprised at how refreshing, and how beneficial having an enemy is after all. God knows Batman does-
I mean, have you seen Cat woman’s ass!?