Today is my brothers Birthday. Before both our parents remarried and our family size grew it was just he and I.
We had an “us against the world” attitude. As kids, sure we fought. I tormented him and he tormented me. We teased and played jokes on each other.
By the way, the best joke he ever played was when I was in 9th grade and he snuck into my room dressed as the GRIM REAPER. I woke up and the rational part of my mind was saying that there was nothing there, it was just shadows. Then he reached out and grabbed me.
I have not had a good nights sleep since then.
Even as kids we knew that we had something special. We could pick on each other but NO ONE else was allowed.
But as much as my little brother and I clash, I’ve learned so much from him about life more than a self-help book:
1 It’s okay to fail and fail again. I’ve watched my brother fall on his back during karate classes only to get right back up into the position he was in previously and try again. It taught me that it’s okay to fail even more than once. It’s never too late to get back up whenever you fall flat on your back, unless you stay in that position.
2 Admit to your mistakes. There was never a more “stand up” individual than my brother. If he screwed up, he admitted to it, fixed it and moved on. It taught me that although admitting to your mistakes takes some bravery, it helps in the long run.
3 Always defend the ones you love. My brother was always the one to defend me whether its getting into an argument with my mom or when we had gotten in fight in our neighborhood. I didn’t want to fight these kids. (He Did). When they pushed me I wanted to turn the other cheek. When They pushed him, I went crazy and went after one of them. When they hit me HE WENT NUCLEAR. He always had my back- Even if he doesn’t know exactly what’s going on at the time. He does it because he loves me unconditionally and is not afraid to be there for me. That kind of bravery shows me how important it is to be there for others, especially for the ones you love.
4 Learn from others. Every time my brother and I walked home from school, he’d talk about the lessons he learned from his teachers. It taught me to embrace the importance of having mentors in your life because no matter how much knowledge you think you possess, there is so much you still have to learn.
5 Be friends with someone who has no friends. I used to wonder why my little brother befriended the “weird” kids in his class whenever he spoke to me about them after school. It showed me that not only does he see the good in others but the impact you make when you befriend an outcast.
6 Make the most out of life. My brother never gets bored. When we were growing up he’d always finding stuff to do. If he can’t watch TV, he’d go outside and play soccer or street hockey or if it was raining outside, he’d make skyscrapers and superheroes out of lego blocks and clay. It showed me that productiveness comes in different colors.
7 Embrace humbleness. My little brother’s humility in situations when he meets people for the first time or when he always gives credit to my parents whenever he made an achievement, showed me how humbleness can help you grow as a person.
8 Be the ultimate supporter. He’d always the one to yell my name without any hesitancy whenever he came to one of my games. He still looks for me when their are competitions on TV. It’s taught me how being a huge encourager of others really does help them to do better.
9 Follow what you love to do. My brother lives with passion. He loves the outdoors and if no one is around to go on a hike with him- he’ll go by himself.
He’s a great dad to his kids and a great uncle to mine. He’s a great brother and a better friend!
When we are together we control the room and will have everyone laughing !