And so you answer.  You answer first and think about it later, and then, if it feels right—you stick with it—you defend your answer.  And that’s what happened in this case.  Contingents of the Fifth Panzer Army encircled Bastogne the night of 20 December, and on the 22 December, when they demanded surrender, the American commander, Brigadier General Anthony C. McAuliffe, responded with derision: “Nuts!”  And he stuck with that answer.

            It was a good answer.  An answer that wins when asked, when asked the question:  Why should you love your enemies?  It was answer that never meets defeat.  There is no defeat because there is no enemy to defeat you…  Strange—this filtering process, this filtering of reality—when you think someone wants to hurt you.  It is societal and it is individual.  A society works when at its basis you do no harm to another.  No one will is imposed on another—this the mirror of a free society.  This is the mirror of individuals trying to be free, and you’re never free when you have enemies.  When you see someone as an enemy.  And I suppose it happens when wills clash.  When what you desire interferes with what someone else desires, and you feel threatened.  They want to take something from—take something away—and you feel you must defend yourself, defend your beliefs, defend your life.  What’s strange is when you’re put in this position, this position of defending your life—everything becomes ugly—manipulations, angles, negative emotions.  And in a way you lose what your defending anyway—by seeing the world this way, seeing your world as an enemy.  In a way you are defeated before you’ve even fought, not in winning—because you can become very good at that, you can become very good at war—the tactics of such—the trick the details of the spirit, not in physical damage—that visible destruction merely the effects of what’s completed first in the heart of your opponent.  For what an enemy takes from you is not your freedom, but your faith that it’s even possible, and once that’s accomplished the rest comes fairly easily.  This form of winning is really losing.  You lose in what you have to become, and your world is not something you really want to live in—it becomes a mirror of lies.  A world where you must hide your weaknesses, deny them, and build protections around them.  You can never feel guilty because it will be used against you.  You can never be yourself…  But they say love your enemies.  So obviously enemies exist in order for you to love them.  In this life you still must distinguish between an enemy and a friend.  There are people out there who wish to harm you.  They want to make you afraid.  They want to steal your hope.  And it can be ever so subtle.  Destroy a man’s purpose and you destroy the man.  Disrupt his routines.  Upset his order of things.  Given enough time—chipping away at him like this—you will see him fall…  That is unless he loves you.  Then even as he falls he is not defeated.  He has killed you.  He has killed you with his kindness…  And it is hard.  It’s hard to get you mind around it—that subtle trick that turns love into hate, and vice versa.  It’s hard to make someone feel that.  Feel really loved, feel loved in order to love.  It’s hard, but then it’s really easy.  It’s easy when you make that discernment, that discernment between an enemy and a friend, and you love them the same, when like a child you don’t change who you are because of them.  It’s easy when you are yourself, and all that that means…

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