Is my enemy my opponent? Is my opponent my enemy? Well yes and no, respectively. My enemy definitely opposes me and probably everything about me and I most likely feel the same way about him/her. Does my opponent consider me an enemy or I, him or her? Not necessarily. How did I come up with that conclusion? Well, first of all, this is my opinion and not some universal statement set in stone. On what did I base this opinion? On personal experience of course which is the usual barometer for most of us. However, I wasn't really satisfied with my "feelings" about this so I decided to turn to a more reliable source and see just how close my opinion came to a universally accepted definitions of the words "enemy" and "opponent". The dictionary defines enemy as "Someone actively opposed or hostile, someone who harms or weakens something or someone else". An opponent is defined as "Someone who competes against someone in a contest, game or arguement, a rival or adversary who disagrees with or resists a proposal or practice". What jumps out at me from these two definitions are the differing degrees of anamosity between "enemies' and "opponents". The definition of enemy includes the words, "hostile, harms, and weakens"; the definition of opponent includes the words, "compete, disagree and resist". In my opinion, these words represent a world of differnece. Using these terms as a guideline, I infer that my enemy is actively hostile to me, would like to harm or at the very least weaken me. My opponent, on the other hand, disagrees with me, resists me, and competes with me. I'd prefer an opponent over an enemy any day of the week, wouldn't you? Of course I know that I have both enemies and opponents, we all do, but I don't understand why we must make the latter into the former based solely on disagreement. Clearly, disagreement is at the crux of the matter. Disagreement between enemies however, is animosity based on strong personal feelings about the other person, not solely on the other person's ideas, actions, or points of view. Disagreement between opponents is based solely on the differing ideas, plans, opinions, and actions, not on any personal animosity.
In our current political climate, both on a local and national level, opponents and enemies have become one and the same, giving license to personal attacks, belittling behaviors, expsosure of irrelevant information, and damaging character attacks that have little or nothing to do with the ability, capability, or competency needed to accomplish the job in question. In short, enemies and opponents are both out to win; your enemy will destroy you to get there, your opponent will beat you fair and square. Which do you want to be? Who would you want to face: the enemy who wants to "kill" you or the opponent who will ultimately make you stronger?