TED: The Sibling Bond

TED, Jeffrey Kluger, “The Sibling Bond”

Beware: I am about to gush at length about the bonds of brotherhood.

As the oldest of three brothers, this TED talk felt enormously relevant to my own experiences and hit very close to home. I can say without embarrassment or reservation that my relationships with my brothers are among the most rewarding and important in my life. Though we’ve grown apart physically as we’ve gotten older, it is impossible to forget or ignore the genuine brotherhood between us whenever we are together. Deep-seeded philosophies, aesthetic beliefs, and practical outlooks on life unite us.

We’ve never been dependent on one another, and there have always been petty conflicts, but there is an almost palpable respect and appreciation that has become especially apparent as we’ve moved on from the safety of college and education into the realm of adulthood. As we’ve aged and cultivated our own experiences, we’ve conveyed those experiences to illuminate new ideas and paths. I know that my brothers, wherever they are and whatever they are doing, will always be among my best friends.

And I admit here that I think our cohesiveness is at least partially a testament to quality parenting as much as it is a testament to mutual appreciation among like-minded persons. In other words, it’s not an accident that we share this bond. Our parents always encouraged group participation, but never to the point of diluting our individual personalities. Friends and family joke that we are essentially clones of one another, and despite the negative connotation, I have always taken that as a compliment. My brothers continue to impress me with their unique abilities, attitudes, and goals and inspire me to be exceptional.

On a lighter note, it’s funny to note that each of us does accurately exhibit the differing characteristics Kluger identifies, and I’m sure this is the case in many families. It’s just especially humorous because with three brothers separated in birthdays across only five years, it becomes obvious that each sibling does indeed exhibit some very stereotypical behaviors. The eldest is definitely the serious, test-subject leader, the middle is definitely the aloof, quiet achiever, and the youngest is definitely the humorous, head-strong entertainer.

I realize my thoughts on this talk have been all over the place – sentimentality is largely to blame – and I’m sorry for that. I hope it hasn’t proven insufferable. When it comes down to it, I simply hope that I have been an inspiring example to which my brothers can aspire and a close friend on which they can rely. Honor means a great deal to me, and luckily I’ve had the honor of being raised alongside two of the most impressive young men walking the earth.

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