This I Believe
My brother, Mark, and I are among the strongest who share the bond of brotherhood. This, however, has not always been so. There are five years between us, the perfect span to allow for affliction. As young boys we grew, playing the prevalent roles of the destructive nuisance that is a younger brother and the resentful vindictive firstborn. This is the way our relationship appeared on the surface. Underneath, however, there was an undeniable bond in place from the moment I was born that could not be broken by insignificant circumstances. Despite our brutal scenes of aggression and immature attempts to belittle each other, Mark was the one I called for when trouble found me and the one I wasted my throat on to defend if he was accused by another. As a younger brother though, I antagonized him constantly and received well-earned bitterness and cruelty in return. Through those early years the torment I had brought down on myself turned my heart against my older brother. When the day of his repentance came I wanted nothing of it. Mark was patient for several years until I finally sacrificed my spite in order to express to him the love he deserved. In trading my selfishness and looking past the offense, our relationship was restored.
In order to maintain and strengthen meaningful relationships in my life, I must consider what will truly benefit the other before considering my own desires. I have to look past a perceived offense in order to preserve the love and devotion of that relationship. To commit to another in love is to become humble and forgive what would naturally be deemed a crime that requires justice. By accepting my brother and remaining loyal to him I bless him and myself. I believe in brotherhood. The bond of brothers is defined by these principles: love, forgiveness, and selflessness. They all depend upon each other, and are displayed in the adage articulated by a wise king of old, ‘A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’