Dogs always say what they mean and act accordingly.
Dogs always say what they mean and act accordingly. They always belong in the Most Loving Friends category.

Humans seem intent on categorizing everything, especially people from the US. Whether or not we’re organized, we can pick something up and verbally put it in a category. Trash or treasure. New or old. Modern or outdated. Quite an accomplishment for a culture that insists there is no black and white–the grey areas allow us to do so many fun things that otherwise we would clearly categorize as wrong instead of right. Both of these things affect how we categorize other people in relation to ourselves.

Friend or Enemy.

I admit to being a Facebook semi-addict. I’ve pried myself away quite a bit during the past year, but I still daily browse my newsfeed. A popular posting source on Facebook now (I’m sure I don’t have to tell you) is For example, “Teenager Post #8962: Good relationships don’t just happen, they take time, patience and two people who want to be together.” Aww. How sweet. If only we lived based on the things we say…but I digress. I see a lot of these since I have a teenage sister with a Facebook account. Most of them are harmless. Some of them are funny, some tinted with lovesickness, and I can remember relating completely in middle and high school. But I saw one today that is simply frustrating. “Teenager Post #8141: I’d rather have an enemy that admits they hate me, instead of a friend who secretly puts me down.” It makes sense, right? Minus the obvious grammar and syntax of a teenager. Good advice, don’t hang with people who lie to you and who don’t encourage you.

But see….there’s that categorizing trait cropping up. Friend or Enemy. There’s a definite distinction, to be sure, but why does everyone have to be one or the other? Just because you don’t get along with someone does not  automatically make them an enemy. That’s a choice. Every person makes a decision about how to view the people around them and in which category they will be placed. My question is…

What happened to that grey area we love so much?

If we can paint a grey area between right and wrong, why can’t we create one in between friends and enemies? The more people we put in the Enemy category, the harder our hearts become and the easier we find it to hate, even the people we used to say we loved. We can know people we find difficult to get along with, and we can acknowledge the fact that we will probably never be best friends. Those people might even hate us and bluntly remind us every day, those people exist. But we don’t have to reciprocate. It’s a choice. We make it every day. We place people in a category. The best course of action would be to eliminate our categories and just view them for what they are: PEOPLE.

But since they are hard to get away from, why not at least broaden your number of categories? Friend. Or Acquaintance. Or Coworker. Or Friend-in-the-Making. Or Neighbor. Or Family. Or Heart-that-Needs-Love. Or Wall-of-Fear-to-Break-Down. Or Kindred Spirit. Or…

Oh my. I’m quickly running out of room for an Enemy category…



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