January 14, 2024•928 words
We live in a world of enemies who want to rejoice at our downfall. If you're on the front of some war, it's a bit easier to identify the enemy, but it's not always clear even there. But in a civilised peacetime society, it's tough.
In a simple mind, one's friend is the one who is nice to you. The enemy is the one who is mean to you. Still, even then, the term enemy isn't popular in a civilised society, just like the word evil is a term reserved for the exclusive usage of religious people. "Sophisticated" secular people shouldn't believe in good and evil.
Yet, all around us day and night, among our colleagues, family, friends, and strangers, some enemies conspire against us. I once heard someone say that if your friend asks of you the same thing as your enemy, is your friend your friend? There are many ways to detect who wants you to succeed and who wants you to fail.
One of many tricks is to slightly insult someone jokingly. If they're your friend, they'll forgive it as a brain fart on your part. If they're an enemy, they will get visually angry. Therefore, as someone aware that we are constantly in a state of war, and not only when on the front ducking from artillery shells, you learn to use this tactic frequently to filter out your enemies in disguise.
It sounds like a pessimistic dark world that I describe, but just because one has to be aware of their surroundings doesn't mean that life isn't good. Humans have walked on this earth constantly for thousands of years, aware of dangers. Pre-historic Greeks who dwelled in caves had only a 60% survival rate when leaving their caves to find food. So, in many ways, we're way better off, except our human enemies today don't walk around with axes but often will smile and greet us instead, but in their hearts, they will wish us the worst of blessings.
We don't have sabre tooth tigers roaming the land, but we still know to watch for the wild boar, wolf, and bear in the forest. If we are familiar with nature, we know that even those animals will, most of the time, not harm us or even try to harm us. Still, there is a chance of an unfortunate encounter.
Yet, society judges people by being nice or not nice. Many of the worst criminals left behind dumbfounded neighbours shaking their heads and saying, "But he/she was so nice!". Nice makes life pleasant but means little on the battlefield of life. Even ancient wisdom advised us to be aware of the people who are too nice to us because they want nothing good for us. Suckups and scammers, this is about you.
As unpleasant as it is, I always appreciated openly mean people because they've made it clear how they feel about me. For better or worse, this creates an honest relationship. Sadly, my oldest daughter thinks I'm a terrible dad and person, but I respect her for being honest with me. It might be hurt or many things, but she's not pretending to like anyone, for that matter. She's always been brutally clear about who she doesn't like. My other daughter is extremely diplomatic; to this day, I'm never sure what she feels about me.
Why am I going so personal into the family? That guy passing you walking their dog or that woman jogging by you is not involved enough with you to matter as far as this battlefield is concerned. But people who are deeply involved with you daily, family, friends, and colleagues, rest assured that within these ranks lie your enemies who will, in the best of cases, wish you failure "I told you so!" and in the worst of cases take action against you. Spread tales about yourself and undertake false flag operations where you are set up for things you didn't do.
A classic one is a girl I was seeing reported me to the tax authorities to hurt me for breaking up with her because I told her I don't do taxes. I was lucky because I was paying taxes, but she was trying to get me jailed. And this is someone who I lived with for eight months. So imagine someone you've lived with for 20 years. What are they capable of? I've been married twice, and I can share many scheming capabilities hidden behind false victimhood. Things that will make your mind spin. Luckily, humans are not original. We are all educated similarly, so divorces follow the same track. There was little room for surprise attacks on my second divorce.
So, what am I getting at? Life is a state of war. And you must be a strategist—a general of your battlefield. The more prepared you are, the more successful you will be in achieving your dreams. Most people do not become who they want to become, not because of that bully in high school but because of people close to them who pretended to have their best interests at heart.
There are people out there who have your best interest at heart, many of them not close to you, for you are not a threat to them. But overall, most people like crabs in a bucket will pull you down if you reach the top. For if they can't be free, neither can you. So don't be a crab, be a general.
Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you want peace, prepare for war.