“If everybody loves you, something is wrong. Find at least one enemy to keep you alert.” -Paulo Coelho
For every message, there are two audiences. One of them will love you. One of them will hate you.
Both audiences have a lesson to offer.
The ones who love you are there to confirm one of your soul’s deepest suspicions. Namely, that you matter. The people who celebrate you are reminders that your story, your convictions, and your unique perspective has a place in the world. However eccentric your personality or philosophy may be, you belong to a tribe that resonates with the frequency of your mission.
The ones who hate you are there to confirm two things: 1) No matter how awesome, creative, happy, loving, or open-minded you try to be, you will never be above criticism, failure, rejection, dismissal, and contempt. The power of your message and the success of your endeavors will not exempt you from being rooted in the human condition. An element of vulnerability will be present in everything you say, in everything you do, and in everything you strive to become. 2) Your strength and success doesn’t come from the absence of opposition. It’s comes from the inner resolve to use all forms of resistance as a platform for personal growth. While there is much progress to be gained by our own determination to learn new things, the best parts of ourselves are often invoked by our experience of that which is unfair, unforgiving, and unrelenting.
The audience that loves us is a pleasure and a privilege. The audience that hates us is an evolutionary necessity. Without the first, we have no joy in our work. Without the latter, we have no progress.
The best kinds of messengers are who those who learn to love all of their audiences — even the ones that hate them. After all, no matter how amazing you are, you’re nothing without the people who think nothing of you.