day 291: ‘O Brother, Where Art Thou?

It’s not unusual in most religions to hear someone call someone else, “brother” or “sister”. The Catholic religion formalizes it with people who are “brothers” formally established from an order. We don’t call each other brothers or sisters at work though. That would be strange. But not so strange for the military where a troop will be thought of as a “band of brothers”. At work, we just aren’t that close nor dependent on one another to establish that we can or will treat each other like brothers or sisters. Although, when we step back and think about it and all that we go through together and put each other through, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be establishing relationships that are that close and that important. I am fortunate that I have some lifelong friends who have come from the places where I have worked. A few I would even call “brother”. In each of these friendships we shared an experience together where it was hard and/or we both went through something individually that was the same, in essence, and we can share and reflect on that moment in time. This is not unlike the military where soldiers who share a foxhole in battle become lifelong friends, companions and brothers. The Bible speaks of this in Proverbs 17:17; “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” There in lies the difference between a friend and a brother. When someone is there for us so they can help us in our time of need, they feel like a brother/sister and oh, how we need these people often in our careers. If we miss the opportunity to know those brothers and sisters at work, who are there for us when we need them, then we are missing out on a big part of the positive experience that can come from work. And just as bad, maybe worse, is when we aren’t establishing ourselves as brothers and sisters for others because we are too caught up in us and our own thing. Today, take a moment and think about the people who you work with and think about who might call you brother or sister and why? And, who wouldn’t, and why not? If you are there for others in their time of need, you are more likely than you think to be thought of as the big brother/sister that you never imagined. We all need a brother/sister. Can you become one today?

Reference: Proverbs 17:17 (New Living Testament)