IfeOluwa, one day you will have enemies you wish dead so much you will fantasize about their mashed heads and disgorged eyes under train wrecks. You don’t think that’s possible? You know nothing. You underestimate man’s ability to master the art of stepping on toes and your capacity for hatred. Anyway, a time will come when you’ll hate them, yet have desires to see them succeed and become legends. I know you don’t believe me. You’re thinking: why will I want my enemy to become a legend? But can you just suspend that disbelief of yours for a moment and hear me out?
History is filled with individuals who owe their immortality to their arch-enemies. As a matter of fact, this seems to be the standard route to being written permanently into the annals of time (whatever that means). A good example–in fact the best example I know–is the story of that carpenter’s son from Nazareth who has eternal dibs on every list of most-influential humans. While chronicling his life and reporting its finer details to the people of Corinth, a lawyer named Paul made this comment: None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
You see, it can be deduced from that paragraph that the wise course of action for those men to silence the carpenter’s son would have been anything but crucifying him. But they did that, and their mistake offers us the perfect demostration of how to glorify your enemy. There are more examples of similar stories through history. A quick Wikipedia tour of revolutionary movements will show you they thrive best just when the people in power go over the top with their persecution. However, modern examples exist, and these will be easier for us to examine.
CASE 1: Consider the actions of our friends in the USA who wanted to enact revenge on the men who hijacked and turned planes into murderous wrecking balls: they started a war that lasted eight years and transformed the mastermind of the attack from a nobody to an inspiration for bloodthirsty lunatics all over the world (one of such lunatics is tormenting the people of North East Nigeria as you read this). Of course they eventually got their man, but now the world pays for their trigger-happiness in the blood of the most vulnerable.
CASE 2: Let us take an anecdote that is the converse of the one above to illustrate the universality of this phenomenon. A group of nerdy French men spend their days in obscurity, poking fun at things other people of the world consider sacred, like rambunctious toddlers who derive pleasure by poking the soft spot of a baby’s head with a stick. Only this time, the babies concerned have a history of eliminating people who poke their soft spot. Okay, let’s discard that silly metaphor. But you get my point. Now that the nerdy French men have been martyred, everybody is chanting Chale! Chale! like the world just became a Ghanaian flea market.
I guess my point is this: if you have an enemy you do not wish to succeed, then no matter what you do, do not make him/her/them a matyr.