Choices April 2002

an e-newsletter for deliberately living people

April 2002

Volume III, Issue 4


Allies & Enemies
Action Guide

Allies & Enemies

As a matter of self-preservation, a man needs good friends or ardent enemies,
for the former instruct him and the latter take him to task.

-Diogenes (412BC - 323 BC) Greek philosopher

Both Allies and Enemies play a role in helping the hero to achieve his quest, if in slightly different ways.  Allies prepare and train the hero to meet the requirements of the “new world” he has entered.   They offer counsel, and sometimes comfort.   And when the ordeal has ended and the shadow has been faced, they are there to celebrate with the hero and commemorate the journey.   The team works as a whole under a shared purpose, and yet each member receives individual benefits from the same experience.  

The clearest example of this can be seen in the film “The Wizard of Oz.”   Dorothy, our hero, gains an appreciation for home and has grownup during this strange adventure.  By helping Dorothy, the Lion has gained courage, the Tin Man a heart, the Scarecrow a brain.  They have all benefited from their trip to Oz.

Enemies keep the Hero on task.  I remember an NPR interview with a character actor who was asked, "Why do you always get cast as a villain?"  The actor replied, "I don't play the villain.  I'm just playing a man that's trying to get the job done."   We may not approve of the journey the enemy has undertaken, but in his own viewpoint, he is the hero.   Without the enemy, there would be no conflict.   Without the conflict, there would be no adventure.   Without adventure, the hero would never grow.


Action Guide

  • What role do you play in supporting the "heroes" around you?
  • If you have them, how do your “enemies” help you grow?
  • Celebrate teamwork by gathering your group of friends for a charity event.  Amazing things can develop when communities journey outside of their normal activities and unite together for a common purpose.


Take a look at my resource page for a list of self-development books and web sites to map out your next adventure.

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(c) 2002, Erica Wang, Coach.  All rights reserved.