The passage “A man cannot be too careful in the choice of his enemies,” from Oscar Wilde, is not entirely true. Yes, just like the classic “Art of War,” an ancient Chinese military treatise infamous for military strategy, the best warriors win by choosing their enemies wisely. It is all about strategy. By choosing the enemy, he knows what to expect and what to focus on for success. This familiarity is an advantage to those who are able to control this decision. However, one most often has no control over their enemy—fate decides.
When fate chooses the enemy, it is harder to win. These enemies are often strangers: unknown and unpredicted. These are the most common enemies that humans encounter throughout life. The enemy does not have to be life-threatening. By defeating the enemy, most will win-over friends or followers. These are essential in the modern world, be it in politics, business, or simple everyday social environment.
My short term arch-nemesis is the opposite team across the volleyball net. In that certain point of time when my team is up against another school, I make them my enemy. The goal is to win the game. In this scenario fate decides the enemy. In a tournament, the last teams who survive the bracket play each other. Or the match up is planned beforehand, based on the district or regional separations.
There are many rivals and arch-nemeses that I have encountered during my high school volleyball career. There is always that one rivalry between schools, that one team who is the most important to defeat. With this arch-enemy, comes the toughest game of the season, the loudest fans, and the greatest amount of pressure. After beating this team it feels as if you just won the Olympics, the whole school celebrates, the news press talks about it for days on end. However, a loss to this team brings shame, anger, and a sense of failure, but mostly the incentive to go back into the gym and work even harder....