(A Special Post for SundayScribblings)
Yes.....I have had them - bullies that I had to avoid as a youngster come to mind. Not being tremendously big but having a bit of bulldog inside of me, it only took a few bad fight experiences for me to learn that there was a better way to deal with the brawn long, brain short type than allowing my face to be used as a punching bag. I couldn't do much about my size so......
I tried to become brain long myself - but not in a bookish sense. If I could become clever enough, I could evade the clutches of the nemesis. It wasn't about running and hiding. It wasn't about sucking up and making them my friend either. I have never had much use or tolerance for anyone that uses size to intimidate.
No....I just needed to get from Here to There - and, when the nemesis placed himself between the two, it was up to me to figure out safe passage.
Sometimes, it was about sensing - whether the time was right to make a pass by.....or if it might just be easier for this day to take the longer way and go around the situation. The longer route could take a longer time (funny how those two concepts coincide). When you weren't on a time crunch, it didn't really matter. The road less travelled often provided more interesting views.
If the time was right to take the direct route - near the nemesis, did I have a quick story or joke or other piece of entertainment ready? Did I have a reply at hand that would throw the enemy off track much like the well honed comedian does once the heckling starts (Michael Richards?....did you just read that last line?)
Bullies are not a treasured memory of my past - but they do deserve a degree of credit. Without them, I may not have developed coping skills that have served me well and giving me the degree of pleasure that a black belt martial artist surely gets as he performs his moves.
"The enemy is a very good teacher" - says the Dalai Lama. I have come to appreciate that wisdom.
Yet, one has to appreciate the wisdom of an even greater teacher - Love your enemies as you love yourself.
A nemesis can inspire you to conquer - but that same motivation can manifest into hatred. Hatred only consumes you. After his brother is murdered, Wyatt Earp bleats, "I'm comin....and I'm bringing hell with me," in the classic movie, Tombstone. Yes, Earp brings the fury....only to have it leave him a broken man....until he leaves it all behind out on in the high desert.
"Love your enemies as you love yourself" - is so easy to say and so hard to do. It's kind of the way it is when you start hanging around that Jesus guy....easy to say...hardest thing to do. In the end, though, it does appear that the hardest things to do bring the most satisfaction....
...and, though some of the toil is complete - I still have a lot of hard work out in front of me.