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 : http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/w/winstonchu135210.html
Photo by macguys

About KC King

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.

19 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 http://philosiblog.com/?s=winston+churchill. 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)

  9. Gary says:

    “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life”! What a nonsense quote! If you have enemies it is most likely because you are an a**hole and has NOTHING to do what so ever with standing up for something, or anything for that matter! Sounds like something concocted to make a**holes feel better about themselves being a**holes. And given Churchill was a total a**hole for much of his life it is little surprise this is credited to him!

    • philosiblog says:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.

      And yes, I agree with you. Not everyone who has enemies has stood up for something. You seem to have that part right.

    • William Stedman says:

      Gary, have you ever stood up for something or someone where you had nothing to gain? I doubt it. You’d know exactly what Churchill was conveying. I volunteered for the military. What an A**hole? I advocate for the elderly in nursing homes as a volunteer. Most of those poor old folks have relatives nearby that never visit, just tuck mom or dad away , forget about them, and then rationalize not visiting with another beer. I’ve held political office and fought against nepotism and corruption. I do all these things for a selfish reason, it makes me feel good. In all those things in my life, I’ve discovered that people are not inherently good, stupidity and ignorance runs rampant around the world, and if you stand for something that makes people feel guilty or uncomfortable about their own lives, then they strike out at you. Get out more often, do something that makes you uncomfortable and think about life.

      • philosiblog says:

        Thanks for proving my point. Gary appears to be nothing more than a foul mouthed troll. And he’s busy making enemies without ever standing for anything, so I guess he made his point, even if he is also the victim of his own “logic.” Presumably, Gary would rather be speaking German, as Churchill was the heart and soul of the British People in that dark hour, and I doubt they would have survived without his leadership. And without England as a base, Europe would have been Hitler’s. And his ambition wasn’t limited to simply ruling Europe…

        Thank you, William, for your service, both in the military and with the elderly. It’s never ceased to amaze me how much they enjoy having visitors, even when they are complete strangers. And it is amazing how good helping others can make you feel.

        It would be nice to think Gary would do what you ask of him in your last sentence, but (presuming he was being honest about his feelings), I doubt it. And if he’s just a troll, then it is doubtful he ever will. That’s just not in their nature. But thanks for taking the high road and suggesting he do something to help his life. You sound like a real stand-up guy.

        Thanks for stopping by and for leaving a comment.

  10. Heather says:

    This is truly an inspiring article. I sit in my home doing my own thing, doing creative projects, creating a better home, hanging out with my two precious beings or my kitties, and really like to tune out the world specifically as to what William has graciously said ” In all those things in my life, I’ve discovered that people are not inherently good, stupidity and ignorance runs rampant around the world, and if you stand for something that makes people feel guilty or uncomfortable about their own lives, then they strike out at you.” Which continually happens to me because I have a powerful core that seeks value and integrity within all my personal and professional relationships. I cannot have a relationship that lacks either.

    I am 39 yr old spiritual woman who undeniably goes through everyday to try and better the environment around me to create more light, more love, more peaceful solutions, taking the high road approach to life and try my damnedest to be a leader by example, but yes it is so challenging in a world full of people who are not self-aware and ridiculously self-absorbed.

    I go to work and try to better the work atmosphere but working for a spineless sadistic boss whom surrounds himself with conscientious individuals that he constantly demoralizes and demeans. I have had my rounds with him after 8 years going in and out of HR trying to stand up for my rights to be treated like a human being. Fortunately, upper management has changed and he can no longer be the sick slick crazed tyrant he has been in the past but now it’s just subtle manipulation.

    I have done everything, tried to stand up for the unjust behavior just to be cast as the black sheep of the group but I work my ass off and he can’t fire me. I have resorted to accepting my situation and staying below the radar to put bread on the table. I live a mile away and have become complacent to my working situation. I do try looking for other employment but after reading this article I feel extremely empowered which comes naturally to me anyway but I am very inspired by Williams post. He has answered which direction I will be heading in starting now. I am going to start giving to the left behind people who really understand how to be grateful and happy with even just a visitor whom may be a stranger but who gives thanks to the little things.

    Thank you Philosiblog, William and to all of those who agree to stand to live…..forget the trolls they are everywhere. Peace, Love, and Kindness

    • philosiblog says:

      Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for sharing your story. I’m glad you got something out of the quote. Just be careful, after all, the boss often has quite a bit of power, and being fired is never a lot of fun.

      Stay strong, and don’t let the trolls get you down. Or their cousins, the sadistic bosses.

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