Everyone needs an enemy.
Because I've never really understood why you'd hate a whole group. Vaguely despise some mass 'other' - immigrants, Muslims, Sydneysiders, Republicans, whatever - when you can have the joyous and unencumbered delight of your very own villain.
After all, it's tradition.
The concept of revenge pre-dates civilisation.
The Jacobeans staged lurid plays of revenge; Tarantino gave us The Bride.
In fact, it's a narrative cliche that every protagonist is only as good as their enemy. They're a necessary part of the journey.
But mass media has made our enmity diffuse. Maniacs like Murdoch press a kind of insanity on us: hate sells. But our emotional systems aren't made to get riled up so much, so often. The urges they stir are basic, tribal; skin again skin: prehistoric bullshit.
We're better than that. I don't suppose for a second we'll all overcome hate, but the world would be significantly more chill if we each focused our rage on just a single individual.
So find someone good to hate.
Think about it. Imagine taking a laidback attitude to life. Calmly accepting that people out there will piss you off. All in the knowledge that there's one in particular who's a little more special to you - the one you hate.
You don't have to act on it. I'm not a vengeful person, but even I have a few enemies. How does it feel? Great. I'm a passive nemesis: something bad happening to them might raise a smile; their minor misfortunes delight me. Every once in a while, I'll check in on them, hoping for the worst. And then I've ticked that box in the psyche.
Over time, I've begun to wonder how I'd feel if something truly sad were to occur - I'd probably feel sorry for them. Forgive them, even.
Perhaps compartmentalising all that negativity diminishes me in some way. Because when I think about them, I'm almost a different person. But everything comes at a cost.
And I'll take the consequence - that I can be relaxed, open-minded, generous, empathetic and civil.
So long as you're not my enemy.