Yesterday as I was driving around town to do errands I was listening, as I usually do, to CBC radio. The theme of the show was friends and enemies. The first bit I heard was talking about “frenemies” those people who are your good friends and yet who can make you feel terrible about yourself. Later they were talking about enemies.
Do you have enemies?
I thought about this quite a bit through the day. I have people of whom I’m wary, some people I would prefer not to spend time with, but I really don’t think I have any enemies.
Many would probably think that people should hate their ex-spouses. Sitting around a lunch table at work the other day the topic of ex-husbands, step-parenting, and shared custody. There were all kinds of different relationships, but not one of the people expressed hate for anyone.
Later yesterday, again on CBC, I heard writer Daryl Davis being interviewed about his book, Klan-Destine Relationships: A Black Man’s Odyssey in the Ku Klux Klan. He and the host, Sook-Yin Lee asked Mr Davis about his meetings, interviews, and in some cases eventual friendships with leaders of the Ku Klux Klan. The twist in this situation was that the writer was a member of the very group most hated by the KKK, he is an African American! He said that he decided to conduct this research because everything he had ever read about the issue was written about white people. He wanted to understand how someone could hate someone they had never met.
The interesting thing is, that I think we are far more likely to hate people we haven’t met than those we have. If you haven’t met someone, you will only know about your differences and be blind to all that you have in common.