Someone will always hate you, no matter how you good a person you are.
I’ve heard it said before that because Satan himself doesn’t know who the anti-Christ will be, he constantly keeps a man prepared at all times throughout history, from Napoleon to Hitler to Osama Bin Laden. Makes sense.
Similarly and yet on a much smaller scale, I’ve learned that even though I strive to be a friendly, easy going, hard-working person, at every stage in my life, there has always been one particular person who has outright hated me.
Yes, hate is a strong word. That’s why I am using it.
And when that person leaves my life, another one enters. Ah, the revolving glass door of decent people despisers.
Right now I’m thinking of this scene from a movie that for some weird reason I own and love to watch, Step-Brothers. Paraphrased: One guy says to Brendon, Will Ferrell’s character, “I don’t know what it is about your face, but I just really want to punch it.”
Will Ferrell’s character responds, “Man, I’m sorry to hear that. Is there something I can doing about that for you?”
The other guy, “No, no… I just really want to punch you in the face…”
That scene best illustrates for me this concept of always having an enemy who doesn’t even have a good reason to be an enemy. It’s more understandable that a few of my arch enemies have been people I’ve worked with. Being one of the youngest guys at my company and having been here longer than most, that means I’ve had co-workers 10 to 20 years older than me who have had to come to me with work questions or in some ways have had to answer to me. That in itself has caused them sometimes to despise me. Though I do my darndest to treat them with the respect they deserve, they don’t return the gesture.
At other points in my life I’ve been hated because my way of doing things is different from someone else’s, though my style didn’t directly interfere with their life. Sometimes my optimistic outlook on life itself has been a cause for their hard feelings towards me.
It would be one thing if I was the kind of guy who went around saying, “What a beautiful morning! Hey you, turn that frown upside-down. Just trust in the Lord, for he will provide all your needs. Here, take these. They’re two free tickets to my favorite musical, My Fair Lady, starring me.”
I would want to punch that guy.
But because I know I’m not annoying, overzealous, a know-it-all or a show-off, there is no logic regarding why at least one person during each year of my life has decided to be my enemy.
Because that’s what I’m talking about here- enemies without a cause.
And because these particular arch nemesises have hated me without logical reason, there is no way to try to reason with them logically. I’ve tried. They still hate me. Even more afterwards. Because the way they see it, I’ve tried to step in and help, which causes them to say or at least think, “What, you think you’re some kind of hero? No thanks, Dr. Phil.”
Something I can do nothing about is another person’s pre-conceived ideas about me.
And that’s their problem, not mine. Pre-conceived ideas about a person help the world in no way. Just a way of stepping backwards as the rest of the world moves forward.
I assume the best in a person until they prove to me otherwise. Then I forgive them and assume the best in them again. If the pattern repeats itself, then I have to silently note their character flaw and react accordingly, yet still with courtesy.
What I’ve found is that by reacting that way to people who hate me, their character eventually reveals itself quite publicly, so that I don’t have to defend myself. If anything, others defend me against my enemy when I’m not around. And more than once, my current arch enemy ends up finding away to walk out of my life. Because there’s no sense in them fighting a battle everyday that they can never win. Some people constantly need drama. I constantly don’t.
At this exact moment, I have no current arch nemesis. But I’m keeping my eye on that metaphorical revolving glass door. It’s inevitable. The new one should be arriving any minute now…