I remember vividly when I got into my first argument with my brother; I was about twelve years old. My brother had all of his friends over to play basketball and watch the game. My dad would always tell me when he had friends over to “leave him alone”, or “ let him have his time and you’ll hang out with them later.” I always kept my distance when my brothers friends were there because I never wanted to get on his bad side. Like any other twelve year old, I just wanted to be a part of something.
Being the younger child could have its positives and its negatives. Growing up, it was all about sports. There was never a fight about what clothes one another wanted to borrow, what movie we wanted to watch, or the amount of time in the bathroom in the morning. We grew up as kids with the same likes and dislikes but when there was an issue we learned to solve our disagreements calmly and rationally. There are other ways to solve issues then throwing harsh remarks at each other, threatening each other, and using the secrets that we know about each other to our advantages.
But, I did know that having an older brother can have its negatives. I always had to keep in mind that he was older, and sometimes, I had to do what he said to keep us from fighting. This would often come down to resolutions between the two of us. These instances reminded me of Thucydides’: The Melian Dialogue
Throughout the dialogue, the Athenians ultimately raise the point that a country so insignificant (the Melians) should not be ruled by the Athenians. The Melians respond by expressing if they are so insignificant, they will not bother the overseeing Athenians. However, the Athenians still wish to destroy the Melians, even though they are trying to reason with them. In the end, the Melians decide to defend their country, as the Athenians use brute force to destroy the small neutral-country.
I think its rare to have the relationship that my brother and I have and I am grateful to share the experiences I have with him. Getting what you want, and having the relationship you want with your sibling shouldn’t be about persuasion, threats and bribes. Having the relationship you want with your sibling should be about compromise, caring for one another, and standing by each others sides when we need it the most. From a young age my parents always taught us the value of friendship. Always telling us, “its like having a built in best friend, one day you will realize.” I guess it all depends on the type of older sibling that you have. It takes patience and time to form a bond of friendship, as does any friendship that you make in high school and college.
The Melians and Athenians took a different approach, after trying to compromise. Both countries should of realized that going into a war is not a way to solve any problems. Both countries lost many of their own people, when they could of just solved this problem with words and reasoning, like my brother and I did.
Personally, I think that we get what we want by being honest and being trustworthy. Never give a reason to be doubted, and never give a reason for suspicion. Even though my brother and I are far away at different schools, we always keep in touch via Facebook, texting, and more. Solving our issues in ways other than bribes and threats have brought us closer in unimaginable ways. Yes, we’ve had conflicts and arguments, but hay! Its normal! Unlike the Melians and Athenians, Its all about how you fix those conflicts and arguments that matter. He is who I look for when I need advice and someone who I can trust to help me make the right decisions.