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Enemies Can Be Blessings

John W. Pinkerton


Several years ago, I discovered a blessing: enemies.

This was brought to my attention in a time that my own self-esteem was pretty low.

Somerville hired a new superintendent.  The school board seemed to be particularly proud of their choice, a young, nice-looking, personable fellow.


I've always had the useful ability to see people for the persons they really are pretty quickly.  With this fellow, I didn't have to guess: he told me who he was.

It began with a casual conversation in the new superintendent's office.  At the end of the school day, I excused myself and told the new boss that I was headed home.  To my surprise, he said he would accompany me to continue our conversation.  When we completed our conversation in my home, I realized that I had been speaking with the most amoral, self-centered creature that I had ever encountered.  I commented to my wife, “Either he or I must die.”

I did what I could to stop this fellow from destroying the school district, but there is only so much a teacher can do when he's up against a newly crowned superintendent.

This “new” superintendent lasted the majority of two years.  I lasted for a couple of more decades.  The school board hated to let him go, but the evidence kept slapping them in their faces until they had no choice.

Of course, as all administrators do, he went on to another job as a superintendent.  He only lasted a few months there.  Apparently they were a little quicker in picking up on who this fellow really was.

Dealing with this fellow made me feel better about myself.  I guess a lot of self-esteem depends on who is standing next to you.  I guess it's similar to pretty girls hanging out with ugly or fat girls so they look even prettier.

Okay, okay.  I'll get to the point.  Sometimes our own self-value depends on whom we're standing next to.  So don't be afraid to make enemies; they may turn out to be the healthiest thing that could happen to you.