I Look Up To My Older Brother, And Not Just Because He's Taller

I Look Up To My Older Brother, And Not Just Because He's Taller

Although I may not grow to be as tall as him, I hope that my heart will grow to become as compassionate and kind as his.
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As the shortest member of my family, it is inevitable that I have to look up to everyone, but it is no coincidence that my brother is the tallest member; after all, I look up and admire him the most.

My brother not only jump-started my indestructible love for competitive swimming but also taught me how to dive through many obstacles and persevere despite the amount of water that filled my lungs. Through his difficult experiences growing up, be built up his resilience and further encouraged me to get back on my feet quickly. I admire his dedication and discipline that drives him to achieve his life-long dreams. After being rejected from his top college choices, he ended up going to his last choice of college. If he had the opportunity today to change which school he attended college, he would not have changed a thing.

After working hard through college, he was admitted to Baylor College of Medicine, then admitted into Harvard as an Emergency Medicine Resident where he will graduate this June and continue for his Masters. Through the many sacrifices he has made, he finally achieved his dream of becoming the best doctor he can be in order to help serve those around him. He truly inspires me to chase my dreams no matter how big they may be. My brother opened my eyes to the real world around me and helped me realize how fortunate I am with an amazing family and the gift of compassion. Through witnessing his passion to help others as an emergency physician, he inspired me to work hard and use my gifts to help others.

Despite his high achievements, he never looked down upon anyone else. His humble nature rubs off on me. I learned how to be humble through him by opening both my mind and heart to my surroundings. He helped me understand that Africa is not a name of a starving little boy, but rather the name of a continent that has one of the highest concentrations of those in poverty. I now understand that North Korea lives in an isolated, brainwashed world. He inspires me to change the world.

My brother never fails to encourage those he loves. He inspires me to become the best version that I can be, and he pushes me to strive for my passions so I can make my own dreams come true. He constantly challenges me to go out of my comfort zone so I can learn new lessons for myself and better understand how the world around me works. Of course, we would be like any other siblings and argue with one another, but despite those moments, he always forgives me no matter what had been said and done. Through him, I have built the person that I am today. Without him, I would not be the same person you would see standing here.

Despite our twelve year age gap and over thousands of miles away from one another, we are inseparable. He has a unique way of making his love known to those around him without any verbal or physical communication. We have many similarities because he is the one that has shaped me and my character. We both have enormous hearts that want to always care and tend for those around us, we are both hard working and would not stop at anything to achieve something that we really want, and we are both quite lazy and messy when time allows us to be.

My brother brings me more laughter than when he tickles me, and he inspires me to bring that kind of joy to the rest of the world. He is not only my brother but my mentor, role model, and best friend. Although I may not grow to be as tall as him, I hope that my heart will grow to become as compassionate and kind as his.

Cover Image Credit: Nicole Ma

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3 Reasons Why Step Dads Are Super Dads

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I often hear a lot of people complaining about their step-parents and wondering why they think that they have any authority over them. Although I know that everyone has different situations, I will be the first to admit that I am beyond blessed to have a step dad. Yep, I said it. My life wouldn't be the same that it is not without him in it. Let me tell you why I think step dads are the greatest things since sliced bread.

1. They will do anything for you, literally.

My stepdad has done any and every thing for me. From when I was little until now. He was and still is my go-to. If I was hungry, he would get me food. If something was broken, he would fix it. If I wanted something, he would normally always find a way to get it. He didn't spoil me (just sometimes), but he would make sure that I was always taken care of.

SEE ALSO: The Thank You That Step-Parents Deserve

2. Life lessons.

Yup, the tough one. My stepdad has taught me things that I would have never figured out on my own. He has stood beside me through every mistake. He has been there to pick me up when I am down. My stepdad is like the book of knowledge: crazy hormonal teenage edition. Boy problems? He would probably make me feel better. He just always seemed to know what to say. I think that the most important lesson that I have learned from my stepdad is: to never give up. My stepdad has been through three cycles of leukemia. He is now in remission, yay!! But, I never heard him complain. I never heard him worry and I never saw him feeling sorry for himself. Through you, I found strength.

3. He loved me as his own.

The big one, the one that may seem impossible to some step parents. My stepdad is not actually my stepdad, but rather my dad. I will never have enough words to explain how grateful I am for this man, which is why I am attempting to write this right now. It takes a special kind of human to love another as if they are their own. There had never been times where I didn't think that my dad wouldn't be there for me. It was like I always knew he would be. He introduces me as his daughter, and he is my dad. I wouldn't have it any other way. You were able to show me what family is.

So, dad... thanks. Thanks for being you. Thanks for being awesome. Thanks for being strong. Thanks for loving me. Thanks for loving my mom. Thanks for giving me a wonderful little sister. Thanks for being someone that I can count on. Thanks for being my dad.

I love you!

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An Open Letter To Older Brothers, With All The Things Your Younger Brothers Won't Admit

This is what everyone with older brothers won't admit, so I'll do it for us all.

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Older Brothers:

As we get older, we definitely begin to grasp at the importance of our relationship with each other. More specifically, the path of substantial growth that develops and unfolds as we get older bewilders us, yet we find ourselves elated with the direction that it is taking. Although we used to unconditionally hate each other, times change substantially the older we become.

We all truthfully appreciate the weight of the growth more than you do, and we'll explain why further in this letter alongside the stages of our relationship.

Ironically, it is very hysterical to think as far back as we can remember to when we were little kids. We definitely caused our parents to be overwhelmed with extraordinary stress, but it did not matter to us. The first stage of our relationship was as innocent and peaceful as could be, at least before the storm arrives later on. We truly appreciate engaging in nothing but fun with you. You were our first tour guide in the world, and your hobbies became ours. We could often be found disappearing into endeavors, on a life or death mission as we saw it.

Simply put, we were in it together, whatever it was.

Even with small and insignificant bickering every once in a while, it never amounted to anything terrible. All we cared about was exploding with our energy and breaking the ornery meter with you. Thank you for embracing this first stage of enjoyment with us. It seemed to pass by incredibly fast, especially with stage two of our relationship on the horizon.

Stage two was a huge love-hate time. It was also by far the most growthful and helpful time for us, even though it certainly did not seem that way. As we entered into our pre-teens and then into middle school, all we cared about was undermining you. For some reason that we really do not know how to explain, we attempted to find an edge.

Stage two of our relationship was filled with fighting that usually ended in us losing. This specifically helped us to learn how to deal with crap. You also had all your high school friends more or less beat us up. You also always expected us to be at our best. As you progressed through high school, we were beginning to learn it all. This is where the love of love-hate came into play. Although we also never explicitly understood or acknowledged it, you inspired us. Being older, you had already experienced a lot and helped us through the worst.

Stage two was definitely a rollercoaster of love-hate (more hate in our minds), but we later learned you were dope.

In the final stage of growth in our relationship, we learned that we had and have a built-in forever best friend relationship. In our late high school years, college, and beyond, we finally realized the impact you had on us. You are honestly probably happier than us that we finally grew up, but we never admit we were and are the perfect duo, two peas in a pod. We grew up together and experienced a lot. So here's to us, even though we will always be better than you.

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