“Know how to use enemies for your own profit. You must learn to grab a sword not by the blade but by the handle, which allows you to defend yourself. The wise man profits more from his enemies than a fool does from his friends.” – Baltasar Gracian, 1601 – 1658
oyalty is one of those concepts that is a double edged sword. There are few that have it in their hearts to be loyal when they are faced down with those things and events that would cause them inconvenience, discomfort or potential harm. That is why one of my personal mottoes is loyalty is like an oath. If you break it, it is an anathema. I have always been loyal to myself, my agenda and what I want. There are those upon the way, allies if you will, who have assisted me in one fashion or another. To these I am very loyal. It is true that history is more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of alleged friends. Loyalty is a fine quality, but in excess it is the executioner’s blade at your neck. The graveyards are full of those who were loyal to the wrong things.
Be loyal to yourself and loyal in your diligence against your enemies. If they are of any merit whatsoever, then they are equally loyal and diligent in their cause against you. In some ways, such fidelities can at times be even stronger than the bonds of friendship, or even of love. Lovers can turn, as can enemies. Nothing is more surprising than the one who was once your enemy, now becoming a friend and ones who were a trusted friend, reveal their secret of having been all the while in fact your enemy. That is why I have always said, never put too much trust in your friends (or family) and learn well how to use your enemies. Enemies who are open in their opposition to you and your cause have a tendency to at times be far more loyal than even those who bend their knee to you bow their neck and swear fealty. If you do not have enemies….make them. If you are merciful to an enemy and trade him his life for loyalty to you, he will be far more diligent in his loyalty, than a friend. The gaping maw of ingratitude is far more dangerous. You know what will happen when you place your hand into the jaws of a crocodile and will take great care so that no move is left unobserved. But with a friend, you have no such need for caution.
Therein lies the danger.
Muse: Fanny Fae
Fandom: Original Character / Folklore / Mythology
Word Count: 395 (words of the quotation were not included in count)