Friends and Enemies

He whose instinct is to wince when you hurt yourself, to warn you when he sees danger ahead, to shed a tear for your heartbreak, to remind you (whether gently or brusquely) of your reason when you become confused, and to offer a hand when you are frightened to face this moment alone, is a friend, to be appreciated.

He whose instinct, when considering all of these circumstances, is to foster conditions in which you may be spared the experience of pain or danger, to engender emotional states that would render you impervious to feelings of punishing regret or crushing loss, to ease the burden of error and anxiety by releasing you from the responsibility of risk-laden choice and the perplexity of life lived in the fog, and to anticipate and preemptively alleviate all your fears in a permanent protective hug, is your enemy, to be escaped, shunned, and if necessary destroyed.

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