The Brotherhood of Men

I don’t care about whose DNA has combined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching, they are your family.
Jim Butcher
Every time I read a post or an article expressing the solitude of being a man, the lone wolf ideology where man stands alone…in loneliness… part of me simply wonders where the hell this guy’s brothers are. I’m not talking about his biological brothers, or anything of the sort. I am talking about his ‘brothers,’ his ‘crew,’ his best man, his wingman, his ‘bro,’ his ‘brother from another mother,’ ‘compadre,’ and the list can go on.  

You see, that’s one of the most noble traits of men; one born out of respect, loyalty, trust, and (forgive me for saying so) love. Its men who stand strong as individuals, yet stronger as they become each other’s shield bearers. These are the friends you don’t need to ask for help, because they are already there helping you before you ask. They are the men who get offended when you tell them not to worry, the ones who will take up look out duty while you do something stupid. These are the ones who will smack you down when you deserve it while at the same time wouldn’t hesitate to take a bullet for you. They aren’t the best option when you need someone to bail you out of jail, as they are probably the guy sitting next to you in the same cell.

Sure, women have that sisterhood going for them, but honestly, as a man, I take it as a rule never to assume I know about the social aspects of women’s lives.

Yet, we find plenty of men out there without brothers. Why? It’s simple. Brotherhood is born out of trust. You trust your brother, as so often your life will be in his hands. To achieve this, two things must happen. First, you have to actually place your trust on someone, risking the possibility of being betrayed. Secondly, and the hardest to achieve in this self-serving society we live in, you have to give selflessly enough to someone so they can trust you. We might complain that we don’t have brothers to stand by our side, yet how many times have you stood by your brothers? How many times have you risked yourself for another man’s safety?

Here’s a reality. As self-sufficient as we want to be, we all need brothers. We all need someone with whom we can count for help during our darkest times and we can share our greatest triumphs. We need someone with whom we have enough shared experiences that can help us understand life when we don’t understand ourselves. We need someone who can lend us strength and specially common sense when we are weak. We need someone who will laugh at us when we take ourselves to seriously and someone who opens our eyes to the seriousness of a situation when we refuse to look.

Above all, we need a brother to be there so we aren’t facing the horrors of the world alone.