You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life. – Winston Churchill

If you are going to fight your enemies, might I suggest a snowball fight?

What does that mean?
This quote is about enemies, and one of the ways you accumulate them. Specifically, this quote talks about getting enemies by taking a stand for something. Standing for something tends to annoy those who stand against that thing, and usually means that you have generated some animosity at a minimum, and (at most) an enemy (or enemies, as the case may be).

This quote is a stated in a congratulatory manner, as the author of the quote considers having enemies as a badge of honor. It is considered the logical result of standing for something in today’s world, which the author values quite highly. So, what have you stood for in your life, and how many enemies have you accumulated in the process?

Why is standing for something important?  
How many people do you know who are squishy, who will not stand for something? Please note there is a difference between not wanting to talk about politics, religion or other sensitive topics. I’m talking about people who can’t seem to make a decision, or will support whatever the most influential (or scariest) person in the room says they are in favor of.

Another word for a person like that is a wind-sock, as they go which ever way the wind blows. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that’s much of a way to live. Standing for something (or several somethings) is part of defining of who you are and what you believe. If you don’t stand for anything, what does that say about who you are and what you believe?

Where can I apply this in my life?
Think about the things you care about in your life. People, concepts, principles, beliefs, or other things or ideas that mean something to you. Something that you would be willing to lose a friend (or even make an enemy) over.

Grab some paper and start a list. I hope you can get at least a few things down on paper. If it helps, make a graduated list, with different levels of intensity for each section on the list. How is the list looking? Are there things on it you would die to protect? How about go bankrupt or go to jail in order to protect or defend?

How easily do you think you could end up with people disliking you, or even declaring themselves your enemy over these issues? For some issues, like family, you might have to think back to Capulet and Montague to get there, but for many other issues, it should be fairly easy to see how you could seriously annoy some people, right?

Now, don’t get confused. I’m not in favor of people going out and making mortal enemies because of this quote. The point is to find out what you truly stand for. Hopefully, you can explain your point sufficiently well that others who disagree with your conclusion will not feel a need to become your enemy.

So, how can you take a stand and not make people your enemy? I would try to explain your side, and then ask them to explain theirs. If you focus on understanding them, and not on scoring points, you will likely be able to at least agree to disagree on the topic. If all you are doing is trying to score points, you will probably have a harder time keeping them as a friend, right?

If you list was a bit light, I imagine it’s because you haven’t spent much time thinking about the question. You might want to think about the things that matter to you. What would make life unbearable if you were to lose it? What are you willing to dedicate yourself to protecting?

For some, one such thing might be a person or a pet. What about concepts, ideas or ideals? Would you stand firmly for freedom, for liberty, or for justice? For everyone, or just those you care about? That might be something else to think about, wouldn’t it?

Again, I’m not advocating making enemies, and if you have some, I would recommend trying to work things out. It makes me sad to see all the time, effort, and energy lost while people pursue such ends. But you have to stand for something, and your job is to find those things, and defend them.

From: Twitter, @JoshuaDone
confirmed at :
Photo by macguys

About philosiblog

I am a thinker, who is spending some time examining those short twitter quotes in greater detail on my blog.
This entry was posted in belief, courage, ideals, listening, passion, reflection and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life

  1. Pingback: At Last « Eden in Babylon

  2. lynngrubb says:

    Excellent blog. I just found this quote today and it really resonates with me.

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  4. Jules says:

    Brilliant thoughts and it really stuck a chord in me today. As a woman born in England to parents who survived WWII (English mom, American Navy dad) I grew up fascinated by that historic time, and the people, including Winston Churchill. I will never forget my mother recalling how he told their country and people to stay strong and fight, in the face of destruction and subjugation. His quote is powerful to me because it is what my parents lived, believed, and accomplished. He was a brave leader, but a man with flaws like all humans, yet he helped save a country and changed the world.

    • philosiblog says:

      Churchill has a special place in my heart as well. The right person at the right place in the right time.

      My father’s mother grew up in the Midlands, and her husband’s line came from just east of Plymouth (England) in the 1600’s, and lived in that part of England back into the Pre-Norman era. That makes me a bit of an Anglophile, I guess.

      Yes, we all have flaws. Abraham Lincoln said (quoting loosely) that the surest way to measure someone’s character and find their flaws was to give them great power.

      Glad you found the post of some use, even if only to bring back (hopefully pleasant) memories.

      I have 5 other Churchill quotes, with a few others which reference him, here Hope you enjoy them as much as you did this one.

  5. MS says:

    So aplty stated! But the best of all is the answer to the question -“So, how can you take a stand and not make people your enemy?”

  6. Pingback: On having enemies | Freedom is Moral

  7. Ann says:

    Thank you. You know how sometimes things come to you at just the right time? This came to me today – and I needed it.

  8. I heard an “abbreviated” version of this quote but I couldn’t remember who said it. Either way, it makes me feel better about some of the things I’ve done in my life (not illegal, but certainly controversial). Thanks for helping!

    • philosiblog says:

      There are plenty of people who insist on having things their way. If that’s not the proper way, or not the best way, you’re going to get the sharp end of their tongue, right? I’ve managed to irritate a number of people, although in my case, it’s usually by means of abrasive application of logic. 8)

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