I have two older brothers. They listen to me gripe about humanity, help me prevail in the face of adversity, and challenge me intellectually. Sure, always being the last one to experience anything gets frustrating; however, it does mean that they pull me up a few rungs on the ladder of Life. I learned how to drive a stick shift not at sixteen and passed Dormitory Microwave Cooking 101 in middle school. We may not talk frequently, but when we do it’s like no time has passed since the previous conversation.
We possess different talents and attitudes from each other. Brother One is the most relaxed, is gifted at both deductive reasoning and humor, and possesses an unshakable demeanor. Brother Two is the artistic genius with the largest capacity for empathy, patience, and counsel mostly delivered through acerbic comments. He is well-intentioned sarcasm in a bespoke suit. I round out our trio with the musical ability, discipline, and critical inquisitivity sundae topped with a bitterly hopeful cherry. All of our conversations are colored by these different views, and I appreciate being in a group of siblings which balances instead of self-destructs.
I had brunch with Brother Two at a local pancake and waffle house. Over bacon and Belgian waffles we eventually approached the topic of human purpose and our opinions of humanity. I believe in the limitless capacity of human beings’ cruelty but keep my eyes focused on the faintest glimmer of hope that we possess equally bountiful benevolence. My motivation is the hope that I can help change the current balance of the scale and make a better tomorrow exist today.
Brother Two’s drive to see each tomorrow is a desire for understanding how we are interconnected and just who we are to each other. He seeks knowledge of human relationships. He channels his energy into analyzing and categorizing his interactions with people. Is this interaction to benefit himself, the other party, or does it fall under the third category of uncertainty which he is trying to comprehend? What is the lesson or emotional need embedded in each interaction? He will be satisfied when he finds the meaning of that third category.
I hope that I will be able to apply that worldview into my own analysis of Life. I sometimes become so entangled in the objective, empirical whys that I neglect the (equally important) emotional, subjective wherefores. Especially since my field is education I need to enable my mind to embrace both perspectives in order to produce optimal results. As I formulate research topics to discuss with my advisor in a few weeks, I am extracting experience and information from all crannies of my brain. However, it is the words of an older brother which have given me the tools to capture the foggy musings and begin to shape them into something meaningful.