You Are Your Brother’s Keeper

When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends.
Japanese Proverb
A constant comment I keep reading from detractors from my articles is how a man can’t be expected to be responsible for others, how he is responsible only for himself. I cannot agree with this mentality.

A while back I wrote an article on how we are Role Models to those around us, whether we want to or not. This is especially true among your friends. A friend has a power that no other person has in someone’s life. You might dismiss the comments of strangers, as they have no idea who you are. You might dismiss the comments of your parents, as they are your “parents” and as a son it’s your rebellious nature getting the best of you. But friends? True Friends? They will tell you the truth to your face, even if you don’t like it. They are probably going to be more honest and direct than even the person with whom you are in a relationship.

And that power means you can influence their behavior with the slightest approval or disapproval. We tend to pick up our friend’s habits, hobbies, and attitudes as well as influence our friend’s actions and mentality. So by your own actions, by your own open approval or disapproval, can you be your brother’s keepers. And this is very important when it comes to your social responsibility. How you carry yourself will set the bar for your friend’s life.

So next time you see a friend making a stupid life decision or think it’s ok to laugh at his racist jokes, or his rape comment; stop and consider just how responsible you are for his actions. Next time you decide to act irresponsible; consider how your actions are going to let him know what’s right and what’s wrong.