Sunday, September 12, 2010

Enemies List

Hi, how's it going tonight? Me, I'm fine! I was just about to get busy composing my enemies list. But then something funny happened--I realized I don't aspire to have enemies. So no list.

As an undergraduate in the 70s, I read the books of Carlos Castaneda (along with everyone else that decade). Great stories they were, and by the way I always sidestepped the issue of whether they were true; I figured that was totally besides the point he was making with his extended narrative on Mexican Indian shamanism.

One of Castaneda's ideas that really stuck with me was the idea that a sorcerer needed a "worthy opponent" to boost his power. It still resonates with me. If someone cares to lock horns with me, it challenges me to figure out a solution to the problem at hand. Usually, a good starting point is to think like my opponent, look at the situation from their point of view. This enables me to understand the problem from a broader perspective. It also allows me a view to their potential moves in the conflict, and possible solutions.

The fact is, however, I really feel it is a waste of my time and energy to cultivate enemies. I prefer to solve problems and move on. Or, better yet, avoid creating problems out of situations that are really none too monumental to begin with.

This year, I was embroiled in a conflict with the committee that ran my daughter's preschool in Oaxaca. The solution was quite simple: A group of families, including mine, broke away to start our own preschool. We hired the wonderful teacher from the old one, and therein lies the root of the conflict. I am keenly aware that the members of the committee from the old preschool consider me an enemy. Honestly, I just don't have any energy to give them for their enemy project!

Note that I do not name these people or their school. That would be to cultivate them as enemies.

Finally, business conflicts such as this, with the hiring of the teacher, are just that: business. Nothing more, nothing less, certainly not cause for invective, name calling, insults and poison pen emails, along with outright lying and thieving, all of which I have been subject to at the hands of the old preschool committee.

Time to end this post, that last paragraph has me ready to start my enemies list!


Marc Olson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Marc Olson said...

I appreciate your is not possible to have an enemy if you don't want to; if you don't allow another to consider you an enemy, you deflect that negative energy.
And, a worthy opponent is very different from an enemy. A worthy opponent can be a most valuable friend when it prompts us to excel, stretch, strengthen, and be creative.