Brotherhood and Sisterhood

In life, we encounter certain people, who become our closest and trusted friends that we come to value as “brothers and sisters.” These are mutual friendships that were built on respect and confidence over time. These are relationships that we may have selflessly risked and sacrificed to help and protect a friend in need. These are people that we were united in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood.

However, there are occasions when our love for a particular “brother” or “sister” blinds us to their incessant lies and tricks. As they weaved their web of deception they skillfully covered up or diverted the blame to someone or something else. As our eyes finally opened, we realized that this friend could smile at our face while at the same time stab a dirk in our back. This realization causes us to reexamine the saying “keep your friends close, but your enemies closer”, because sometimes these friends and enemies are one in the same.

So then, why would a “brother” or “sister” want to harm those who loved, helped, and protected them? The answer can be summarized by four words “greed”, “jealousy”, “insecurity,” and “inferiority.” For whatever reason, they wanted something from their “brother” or “sister” whether it was tangible or intangible. These so-called brothers and sisters sometimes sought to destroy their friend, whether duping them in a business transaction or viciously attacking their loved ones. These types of deception—usually carried out willfully to harm or damage the person, they claimed to love—is the ultimate betrayal and is something not easily forgotten.

When someone has experienced such betrayal by a loved and trusted friend; they are left confused, depressed and frustrated. Their minds are filled with so many thoughts that they start to wonder whether this “brother” or “sister” was ever a genuine friend or whether their conscience is telling them that they did wrong. We may never know the motive behind this deceptive person’s behavior or actions, but it is unlikely that they are ever free of their own conscience. In fact, they have also inflicted pain onto themselves as so poetically quoted by Erica Jong “betrayal does that–betrays the betrayer.

It seems that the most intelligent being on this earth is destined to cause so much destruction and suffering on the lives and livelihoods of our beloved global brothers and sisters. Whether we inflict this suffering by telling lies or creating wars, we cannot ignore the fact that as humans, we need each other to survive in the now and exist in the future. For whatever reason, we are still unable to change our destructive destiny because we ignore the lessons learned from our own history as individuals, as nations and as the world.

So in the spirit of brotherhood and sisterhood I conclude this post with the lyrics from a song called “Brothers in Arms” that was released in 1985 by the British rock group Dire Straits. The lyrics focus on the guerrilla wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua during the 1980’s [1]; however, the message in this song can apply to anyone, in any situation, and in any nation. In the end, we must learn from the message in this song that “we’re fools to make war (or trouble) on our brothers (and sisters) in arms.”

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you’ll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you’ll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I’ve witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There’s so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun’s gone to hell
And the moon riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it’s written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

“Brothers In Arms” (album). Wikipedia, The Free Online Dictionary.