It would be a very rare person indeed who could honestly say that they have no enemies or rivals. Most enemies and rivals fall somewhere between a casual dislike to a down right hatred, depending on the time and the situation. It’s common to try to distance yourself from them so as to avoid contacts and some unpleasant encounters.

There is, however, much that you can learn from your antagonists and adversaries. Your relationship with them and the encounters you share with them can be very telling. They can provide you with unique insights, blunt frankness, and a perspective that your friends and family will generally not share with you. Even though the odds of embracing them and ultimately turning them into friends, may be slight, ignoring them could well deprive you of something good that can come from such relationships. There is a story of two gold prospectors from California that illustrates this point.

Dr. Mike McGough is a York College professor who lives in Abbottstown.

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