What a guy. Has anyone been fortunate enough to meet him? Without him, there’s no telling where I’d be in this life. Of course, without anyone, no telling. We all influence one another in ways that we cannot know. In fact, just this morning, a video on Albert Einstein informed me of an old Chinese Proverb, “It is impossible to know the results of your actions.” But enough of proverbs, back to my awesome Brother!
Quintessential example-setter. Back in the day, and by day I mean about 2 years ago, after I just finished pledging, I realized how much direction I could use in my life. My values were oriented around drinking and more drinking as being the pinnacle existence. Thankfully, my conscience accepted that something was drastically wrong with my current value-orientation and was in search to find a better way of living.
And suddenly, boom! There was Brother at the dinner table. Charismatic, funny, energetic – basically The Man. I thought to myself, “Wow, I want to be like him.” Too pent up with pride and holding onto fringes of superiority founded in my massiveness of muscle, which I now realize is nearly useless since we are no longer rolling around stones and hunting buffalo, I could not squarely talk to Brother about the issue. Instead, I passively observed his superior way of connecting with people, hoping that it would just rub off on me.
As a fortunate college kid on Winter Break, nearly a month mixed of December and January was mine to recover from pledging a fraternity and make strides in my life. Aside from Brother, though, I didn’t really know where to look. Brother only stayed home for about two weeks, at which point he prepared his return to Austin, Texas. Clinging to his every movement, desperately seeking for some way to learn from his ways without surrendering my pride, I followed him around the house.
On the day of his departure, he perused the family book collection, seeing if anything caught his fancy. Books, you say? Reading books for pleasure was a completely foreign concept to me. Books were for school, I thought, and I would certainly not squander my precious time engaging in such a boring activity.
Thanks to Brother being awesome, however, I decided to overcome my judgments about reading and give it a try. Brother picked out a book from my dad’s collection entitled, “Life’s Greatest Lessons,” by Hal Urban, and planned to take it with him to Austin. But…I would have none of it! Acting selfishly, out of desperation perhaps, I insisted that I wanted to read that book and asked if he would leave it behind. Thankfully – thanks to Brother, my dad for having the book, and God for sharing it with Brother – he left it for me to read.
Life’s Greatest Lessons was the first book I ever allowed myself to read for pleasure, and since then I’ve found a great joy in reading and in learning. We can learn about literally anything, and that is a truth that Brother shared with me at just the right time. This life really is amazing.
I am indebted forever to Brother, because he was setting the right example at the right time when I was searching for a role model. My parents and sisters are also role models, but, as you can probably imagine, it is much easier to relate to Brother, close in age and of the same sex, than parents distance in age or sisters made of different parts.
Here’s to you Brother! And here’s to everyone who has the courage, the confidence, and the belief in themselves to strive for goodness so that others may look to them as an example worthy of emulation.
“It is impossible to know the results of your actions.”