Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Power of Brothers

A quick review of the word "brother" reminds us that our brothers are those we share a common parent with or who share with us a common tie or interest. It is indeed important for us to celebrate our brothers, for without our brothers we would not be able to stretch our worldviews, challenge our actions or have someone who can stand with us.

I have been blessed by two brothers who have the same parents as me. As we were growing up it was my brothers who were always there. Whenever we moved into a new neighborhood, my brothers provided the social interaction I needed. As we grew, my brothers were there to provide instant feedback on how I looked, acted or drove. Their honest appraisal saved me from many a fashion faux pas, inappropriate action and, of course, traffic tickets. When I messed up, they offered words of comfort and care. The older I am, the more I appreciate and lean on my brothers.

I have been blessed by brothers who share a common interest or tie with me too. There are men who share a relationship with me through my wife -- my brothers-in-law. They love their sister enough to honor her love for me by allowing me into their lives. Our tie is not by blood, but is as strong as if we were joined by a common ancestor. I also appreciate my brothers-in-law; they have stood with me in trials, and they have taught me valuable lessons.

I have been blessed by other brothers who have become my brothers through trials or shared experiences, such as facing a common enemy, working for the same goal or sharing a work environment. These men also have stood with me through those dark times in my life, providing the support and strength I needed to move to the next stage in my life. Some of my brothers are keepers of my secrets and trust me enough not to repeat theirs. Some of my brothers are wise men I can ask for and receive words that instruct and inspire. These generous men are not shy about sharing their experiences and their wisdom. When they do, I -- and the company I keep -- all benefit.

In a world as vast as the one in which we live, it's a remarkable thing to have a brother -- blood or otherwise -- who is there for us through thick and thin and loves us enough to keep coming back for more.

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