Men have a different way of going through life than women. We could say that biologically men’s lives are less valuable than women’s in that it only take one man to carry on the population while it would take many women to have many many children. When we look at the lives of men we see that men die more often by risky behavior like stunts and car crashes pointing to the idea that men have a biology that is designed differently with things like social power in leadership and prestige being valued as much more important. This is not to say that women do not have such a thing in their lives it’s just that with women the nurturing instinct is much more developed and for the good reason of the children and the family.
Often times men will grow up in a patriarchal family where, from the time of Cain and Able it has been observed that the son will have the desire to overthrow the patriarch, the father. You can see this with kings of the past going on for centuries. In many cultures the transfer of power was almost always violent. With the king at the top it often times was up to one of his sons to replace him. Which son was to replace him was the question that provided the tension between brothers.
Growing up outside of royalty, my brother and I had a more civil relationship though not without conflict. Looking back I can see the harm that I did to him and the recoil from this harm and how this has effected me. Brothers fight in the sense of wrestling and other games where we would both try and get the best of each other. Being the older brother I would almost always win and would then make it a point to show how much better I was than him in additional displays of strength. This eventually backfired as my brother stopped wanting to play any more games with me. He could not get away with playing no games with me however as we had many of the same friends and groups of friend play games with each other inevitably.
To this day my brother and I seldom talk and despite my best efforts I get a call from him maybe a handful of times per year. When I think about what has brought us to this point in our relationship, besides all the times that I would not allow him to play his choice of video game or not use the TV, there are a few key instances that come to mind. There was the time that we convinced him that by strapping him into a dog harness that we could then hoist him up into a tree and thus climb any tree we wanted. After getting him 30 feet in the air my friend and I tied our end to a different tree leaving him suspended while we left to eat lunch. We were not gone that long but when we got back he was distraught. Another time we mummified him in duct tape to the point where he was unable to moved. These are the things that make me laugh about my childhood and I look back at with fond memories. There are darker parts of our past however that are harder to get into.
My brother left for the military shortly after college. After returning from basic training he came home with confidence that we had not seen in him before. It was great for the entire family, but when it came time to choose which video game to play it was bad for both him and I. I had been at my own school and was currently in my third year and so my brother and I had not been spending much time in the same location. I believe it was Christmas break for both of us and spending time together was something we were both not used to. When the video games came into conflict violence broke out immediately. In a way similar to WWII this was the last time my brother and I got into any type of physical fight. It was the most violent fight either of us had ever been in and ended with a black eye for me and getting kicked out of the house for him. We have not been the same since that point. It would be nice to have a brother that is confident about his ability to handle the world but I could not let this confidence tread in an area that I felt was mine. I can imagine it would have been a blow to his ego to learn that his military training still could not take down the enemy of a brother that he had at that moment and must have changed something in him to avoid rather than confront.
I still believe that later in life we will both become closer to one another. Maybe it will take a colossal event like both of us having kids, but someday in the future my brother and I will be on a similar level. It’s impossible that we stop being brothers and so no matter how much we hate one another we will always be in each others lives. The fight between brothers has been going on for so long that it’s built into all of our minds. We know how brothers act and to learn about myself in this way I can learn about everyone, because everyone knows that brothers fight.