What My Little Brother Has Taught Me
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Adulting

What My Little Brother Has Taught Me

Setting an example is a two-way street.

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What My Little Brother Has Taught Me
Shea Ward

I'm one of two and throughout my life I've felt the pressure of being the oldest child. When I found out Santa Claus wasn't real, I had to pretend like I still believed so my little brother still could. As a pre-teen experimenting with curse words as middle-schoolers do I had to "watch my mouth" and what I said around my little brother. Then in high school I got involved, took all the AP classes I could, went to the dances and football games, got my license and a job and I set "the example".

Throughout my life I waited for him to follow in my footsteps. Eventually he learned Santa Claus wasn't real and developed a trucker mouth worse than mine. But when he got to high school, his path became far far different than mine, and it made me realize that he was more than just "my little brother". He was his own person, creating his own path, setting his own example.

He became more than just my little brother, he became an individual I could learn from, look up to, admire. That being said, there are a still a lot of pages in my book he could learn from, but here's what I've taken from his.

Generosity 

Going the extra mile for someone else, putting others before yourself.

He is great at listening to people and remembering the smallest of things they say. He can take little details and turn them into big gestures. He is a giver and always wants to go above and beyond for others no matter the cost.

Kindness 

Being friendly and considerate.

He is kind to everyone he comes into contact with, regardless of circumstance, history, rumors, etc. Even if he is not treated right, he responds with kindness. He tries to be considerate of others' feelings and never wants to make anyone feel bad.

Inclusivity

Including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized.

Whether it's at school or in the neighborhood, he makes an extra effort to include everyone. He's the type of guy who goes out of his way to invite someone even if he knows that they are busy and can't come just so they know they were invited and feel wanted.

Accepting 

Regards different types of people/ways of life with tolerance and acceptance.

He is friends with many people that hold different beliefs and contrasting viewpoints from his own. He accepts people for who they are regardless of beliefs, flaws, imperfections, etc. He does not try to change others. He is non-judgmental and can make everyone feel accepted, important, and loved.

Politically Aware 

Perceptive and knowledgeable.

He pays attention to what is going on around him and in the world. He cares about policies, events, and movements even if they don't affect him directly. He makes an effort to educate himself on a myriad of topics and likes to inform and educate others, have discussions, and use his voice.

Breaks social standards 

Non-conforming.

He pays no attention to current trends or social standards. He does his own thing; he is always just his most authentic self. He roots for the underdogs, and looks at everyone and everything equally when making decisions. He doesn't just choose what is most common or popular.

Even though I am the "big sister", I've learned a lot from the young man I get to call my "little brother".

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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