Weak friends and semi-friendly neutrals are useless.
They're there when times are good.
Shit gets a little hairy, and they're out.
People forget so fast.
They forget what you've done for them.
They forget what you've done together.
They forget what you've built, what you can do.
Your closest friends? Maybe they remember. Halfway.
Even then. Not so much...
You know who appreciates you?
When you're locked into conflict and struggle with someone, and they're trying to hurt you, and you're successfully breaking that harm upon your rocks and defeating them...
These people appreciate you.
I don't need more weak friends. I need more enemies. God bless all of them, everywhere, everyone I'm fighting. And if you should break me? So much the better, my congratulations if so! I have a lot to learn, and you'll teach me the lessons.
Or perhaps the other way around.
Weak friends are useless. Strong enemies, they're worth their weight in gold.
A little mind hack to increase your subjective appreciation toward your friends: think of them as mighty allies, nearby kingdoms that help you survive and thrive in a chaotic world. This gives you more respect and makes you interested in their dealings and wellbeing.
"Wzup, MATE?" (Mighty Ally & Totally Elite) is a common greeting phrase in my online convos :)
When bad people are alive, you can oppose them. But as soon as they are gone, they're not your enemies any more. They're just people who once were, but now are not. Memories.
The quote - there are no enemies in death - comes from "Lone Wolf and Cub," a favorite serious of mine. You can see me reviewing a bit of it at the entry "Rule an Empire, Fistful of Rice."
After some mortal enemies is vanquished, the protagonist gives them a respectful burial. When asked why, he explains that there are no enemies in death.
It's easy to get caught up in cheering for one side of history, but your feelings don't affect what's already happened. And strong feelings can easily blind you from figuring out what really happened.
It may not always be possible, but it would be good for you if you can become dispassionate in analyzing long dead eras.
In Buddhism there's this great concept of near-enemies and far-enemies. Two things are far-enemies if they are polar opposites: the far enemy of compassion is cruelty. But near-enemies are more subtle: they seem very similar at first, but when you look deeper, they're still opposites. The near-enemy of compassion, for example, is pity. They kind of seem like the same thing, because both mean you "feel bad" for someone else, but compassion is dignified and brings you closer together. Pity is condescending. It distances you from the other person.
Far-enemies aren't that interesting to me because they're pretty obvious. Polar opposites. Ho-hum. But I love near-enemies, because there's a lot to talk about in the subtlety.
So let's talk about two of the biggest near-enemies of all: self-consciousness and self-awareness.
Superficially, they seem very similar. Both of them are about paying attention to yourself, your thoughts, words, and actions in the present moment.